Easter in Zakopane
Easter is a special time for many Poles, who traditionally spend it with family. One of the popular places to celebrate this holiday are the Polish mountains, especially the city of Zakopane and its picturesque surroundings. Easter in Zakopane and the entire Podhale region is not only a time of joyful celebration, but also one of the most important holidays, which is manifested in a special way in our customs. Traditional Easter rituals in Podhale are a wealth of the region’s cultural and religious heritage.
The prelude to the solemn celebration of Holy Week is Flower (Palm) Sunday. In the old Podhale tradition, modestly decorated willow branches covered with basil, called “bazicks” by the highlanders, were prepared for this occasion. Stored then throughout the year at home, they were supposed to provide protection from misfortunes and ensure fertility. They were also used in traditional folk medicine. Today they are beautiful, richly decorated palms that often take part in competitions organized by local parishes.
Then, the Holy Week, full of preparations, is followed by the Saturday before Easter, associated with bringing the “święcelina” to church. Preparing and decorating Easter baskets is one of the most important elements of Podhale Easter culture. These baskets contain many symbolic products, such as eggs symbolizing life, a lamb of butter, oscypek, sausage, moskol, salt, or horseradish. The top of the basket is covered with a white linen tablecloth, on which branches of myrtle, willow or juniper are arranged.
Many highlanders then dress in their festive traditional costumes, which creates an unforgettable sight and a truly festive atmosphere. During Easter in Zakopane you can also see beautifully decorated churches and houses.