Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Customs and Religion

Christmas in Hamtramck in Polish-American Family - Childhood Memories

Children today mark the opening day of the Christmas two days after Halloween. When I was a child in Hamtramck (Michigan, near Detroit) the Christmas Season began at the most, two weeks before Christmas. It seemed that the snow was piled up to at least nose height and the air was cold and crisp. The daytime was not very exciting but evening and nighttime brought a different, magical quality to an otherwise mundane city. It was during that time that my family and other families would stroll through the commercial district. Stroll? yes, stroll. The world was just coming out of the Depression and now we were engaged in a world war. Who had a car or needed one?

Read more: Christmas in Hamtramck in Polish-American Family - Childhood Memories


Polish Flowers - All Saints Day, Christmas, Funerals and other Occasions

Fall flowers, especially yellow and white chrysantemum are a typical flower used for decoration of graves during All Saints Day celebrations in the beginning of November. Chrysantemum is my personal favorite, some yellow chrysantemum are just gorgeous!. Unfortunately - it is almost specifically used for All Saints celebration and for funerals. Because of that these flowers are completely inappropriate for any other occasions like birthdays or weddings. Also other fall flowers like asters are used for All Saints celebration, but not exclusively.

Read more: Polish Flowers - All Saints Day, Christmas, Funerals and other Occasions


Flowers for Weddings and First Communion

As I already mentioned in several previous articles how important are flowers especially for dating , weddings and the all Saints Day. Flowers are very popular and used for many occasions in Poland. It is impolite to be invited to somebody's house and do not bring a bouquet of flowers, especially in summer when flowers are really cheap.

Flowers are usually bought in uneven numbers. Typical bouquets do not have more than 3-5 flowers, sometimes just one - but they are just wonderfully decorated with eucalyptus, evergreen or another kind of decorative "grass".

Read more: Flowers for Weddings and First Communion


John Paul II: 25th Anniversary of the Pontificate

I was hesitating to write an article about the Polish pope. John Paul II is still here with us, although his body is weak, his mind is still strong. I still believe that the pope is 'not finished' yet, as some people and mass media would like to see him, debating his possible successors already. I also did not want to write just one more very general article about the pope. So, I am not going to start talking about his birth and his career, I would just focus on some aspects of his activities and my memories of him. Let me focus here on pope's pilgrimages and his influence into the common person in Poland in the aspect of the political system which we had and his influence on the world.

Read more: John Paul II: 25th Anniversary of the Pontificate


Pope John Paul II: Pilgrimages to Poland

Every pope's visit in Poland was a festivity, a very special event for almost all Poles. Every time he was leaving - it was hard to go back to the everyday routine.

During his first pilgrimage to Poland in June 1979, the pope was talking about human dignity. He prayed: "Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth". He was referring also to Polish Christian heritage, to our rich history before communism. He also built amazing bond with young people because of his sense of humor, energy and youthfulness. When people listened to the pope, they realized that they have inner strength. They looked around at the countless crowds and they realized they have also power because there is so many of them who want the same! The pope breached a strict censorship in mass media since his sermons were often broadcast live.

Read more: Pope John Paul II: Pilgrimages to Poland


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