Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Easter and Lent

Polish Spring and Easter Rituals

Winters in Poland were long and unforgiving. Therefore people are longing for spring, for possibility to grow plants and other vegetation. One of the ancient and pagan habits that supposedly was helping to get rid of winter was Topienie Marzanny "sinking of Marzanna". This habit is still cultivated among scouts or school kids. Kids made a doll from old grass and tree branches and take it to the river. They burn the doll (called "Marzanna", from the word "marznac" means "freeze") and throw her into the river. The symbolic meaning of this ceremony is to get rid of winter therefore it is performed in early spring.

Read more: Polish Spring and Easter Rituals


Smigus Dyngus and other Polish old Easter Traditions

Smigus Dyngus (shming-oos-ding-oos) is an unusual tradition of Easter Monday. This day (Monday after Easter Sunday) is called also in Polish "Wet Monday", in Polish: "Mokry Poniedzialek" or "Lany Poniedzialek". Easter Monday is also a holiday in Poland. It was traditionally the day when boys tried to drench girls with squirt guns or buckets of water. "Smigus" comes from the word smigac meaning swish with a cane since men tap the ankles and legs of the girls.

Read more: Smigus Dyngus and other Polish old Easter Traditions


Polish Lent Tradition

Poles seem to be more attached to the tradition of Lent, Jesus Christ's suffering and crucifixion than to the tradition of Christ's resurrection. Maybe this is because Poland as a country suffered a lot during its history either being attacked by other nations or even subdued. As an example in one time in XVII century Poles have to defend their country from three different attackers.

Poland was erased from the world map in the XIX century when it was partitioned by Prussia, Russia and Austria. As you all probably know the aggression of Nazi Germany at Poland began the Second World War. It resulted in another partition because Poland was invaded from the West by Germany and from the East by Soviet Union. Many Poles felt as if the fate of Poland and Poles was ultimately connected with the suffering of Jesus on the cross. The martyrdom of Poland is associated by many with the martyrdom of Christ.

Read more: Polish Lent Tradition


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