Easter is a special time of the year. Usually, we spend it with family or friends. There are many wonderful rites and customs in Podhale,Poland, which are passed down from generation to generation. Many of them are practiced today. Pre-Christmas Easter begins with a big fast on Ash Wednesday. As the president of the Podhalan Union in Kościelisko recollects, Anna Nędza-Kubiniec, the housewives in that day were brewing pots and spreading them with ashes. One of the traditions was walking with ‘śmierztecką’. On Palm Sunday , Bazicki is brought to the church – willow twigs with catkins; decorated with bows, paper or myrtle are a symbol of new life. Once they were believed to have magical properties; the animals were petted with branches to be healthy and the basal ‘kitties’ were eaten to have a healthy throat. They were also hung over the door to protect property from misfortunes. It was also customary for gazda to put the base along with the mosquito during the plowing to ensure fertile crops. In many parishes, competitions for the most beautiful palm are organized on that day.
Happy Easter in Zakopane
Big Thursday is a day of silence. The bells do not ring – which will only be played on Saturday. You can hear wooden door knockers. On that day, there was the ‘egzekucja’ of the straw effigy that represented Judas. It was burned or fused.
Big Friday; just before sunrise people were bathing in the river to ensure health and beauty. Animals were also sprinkled with the water. Women after cutting a lock of hair washed their heads in the river. It was believed that it would provide healthy beautiful hair.
Housewives produced butter used especially for diseases. It was a day of strict fasting, it was forbidden to work especially in jobs requiring nailing, breaking or abrasion. The exception were the smiths who forged three nails that nailed the door of the workshop. It was a reminder of the death of Christ.
Holy Saturday is the day of preparing the Easter basket. In the past, a woolen bag was used now a wicker basket. Beautifully decorated basket with embroidered serviette and boxwood; Colorful eggs, sausage, oscypek or bread, salt or chansan are just some of the products in the basket. Eggs are colored with onion shells which give them a beautiful burgundy color. The butter in the shape of a lamb is formed in a special mold made of wood for butter. The devoted products will be used for the Sunday Christmas breakfast. After returning from the church, the house was formerly celebrated 3 times, repeating aloud: Run away from the house, because I’m walking with the Saints, big house!
Sunday is a very festive day, spent together. On that day, the church was also circled three times; It was believed that witches can only do it once. The best highland costumes are chosen for the church. There is a mood of joy.
Easter Monday, or “Polewacka” is a day in which it was not easy to stay dry because in Podhale there is still the habit of pouring water. The girls are especially fond of girls by bachelors. The more wet they were, the more successful it was also poured from watering cans or pots, or even thrown into rivers or wells. There was, however, a way to buy yourself from getting wet – vodka, cake or a sacred egg.
For Easter Our Villa is beautiful decorated with handmade decorations. Below are some photos: