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How Easter is celebrated in Poland: whether Easter cakes are baked and what is put in the basket

Anna OnishchenkoNews
How Easter is celebrated in Poland: whether Easter cakes are baked and what is put in the basket. Source: Created with the help of AI

Easter, or Wielkanoc as Poles call it, is one of the most important religious holidays in Poland. It is a time for spiritual renewal, joy, and family unity.

Although many Polish traditions are similar to Ukrainian ones, the Polish holiday has its own peculiarities. Culture.pl has learned about how Catholics in Poland prepare for Easter and what dishes they cook.

In 2024, Orthodox and Greek Catholics begin celebrating Easter on May 5, but Poles celebrate the Resurrection of Christ according to the Western Roman Catholic calendar. That is, in Poland, the celebrations will begin on Sunday, March 31.

Palm Sunday

A week before Easter, Poles celebrate Palm Sunday or niedziela palmowa. According to Catholicism, this day marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Back then, the city's residents welcomed him by waving palm branches.

However, since Poles cannot symbolically bring palm branches to church, they often bring willows or "palms" made with their own hands from twigs, dried flowers, and ribbons.

How Easter is celebrated in Poland: whether Easter cakes are baked and what is put in the basket

Many cities even hold annual competitions for the longest and most beautiful artificial palm tree.

Holy Week before Easter

In Poland, this period is a time of spring cleaning. Many people use this opportunity not only to tidy up their homes, but also to make small cosmetic repairs. At the same time, some Poles keep a strict fast.

On Fridays and Saturdays, Polish families visit the symbolic Holy Sepulchers in their churches.

Baskets

On the Saturday before Easter, Poles, just like Ukrainians, dye eggs and start assembling Easter baskets. They put a white lace or linen napkin in them, fill them with Easter food, and decorate them with boxwood sprigs.

In addition to painted eggs, Polish baskets contain sausage, ham, salt and pepper, bread, an Easter babka, and an Easter lamb made of sugar. The finished composition is then taken to church to be blessed.

Easter "babka"

Instead of Easter cakes, Poles bake a tall, round, sweet yeast cake with a hole in the middle. Then it is poured with icing and decorated with dried fruits, walnuts, almonds, and roasted seeds to make it look festive.

How Easter is celebrated in Poland: whether Easter cakes are baked and what is put in the basket

Easter Sunday

On this day, Poles go to churches early in the morning to attend the Easter Mass. Afterwards, the faithful take part in a procession around the church.

Then the Poles gather with their families to have breakfast together with consecrated Easter dishes.

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