Sunday, April 12, 2015


Easter is a big holiday in Poland.  A BIG holiday.  It is, by law, a two-day holiday.  Sunday and Monday.  On Sunday, virtually everything is closed. Businesses, government offices, stores, etc.  The trains and city busses still run, but pretty much everything else shuts down.  I am told that in the larger cities some stores and restaurants are open.  But, here in Malbork, just about everything was closed.

It is a very religious holiday here in predominantly Catholic Poland.  The tradition is that, on Saturday, people take a basket of food items to the church and they are blessed by the priest.  These are symbolic of what is served on Easter Sunday.  Then, on Sunday, everyone goes to mass and, later, has the traditional Easter meal.  It almost always includes eggs since these symbolize life and the resurrection of Christ.

We celebrated our Easter here at home.  Alicja had a three-day weekend off.  Her son, Marek, and his girlfriend, Dominika came for Easter.  We enjoyed the good company and the food.  I think we ate something every two hours.  The primary meal here was roast duck.  Duck is very popular here and it is traditional on Easter for many people.  Alicja loves it.  We also had a fish (ryba) dish since Dominika is semi-vegetarian.  And, before the meal, we each had ½ a hard boiled egg and wished each other health, happiness and prosperity in the ensuing year.

Marek and Dominika

Monday is “wet Monday.”  It is also a holiday and most businesses are closed.  It is called   "Lany Poniedzialek" or “Smigus- Dyngus.” The ancient Polish tradition on Easter Monday, is celebrated by everyone with enthusiasm by sprinkling each other with water. Especially kids have fun this day. Some people say that being splashed with water on Easter Monday will bring you good luck throughout the year.  The evening news showed celebrations in various parts of the country including people being sprinkled (and doused) with water.

The Friday before Easter, Alicja asked me to go to Kaufland, the large grocery store, while she was at work.  She had a list of things for me to pick up.  When I arrived, I understood why she wanted ME to go.  I think everyone in town had left work early and every one of them was in the store.  It looked like Walmart on Christmas eve.  Before I escaped the place, I had been shoved, jostled, elbowed and stepped on numerous times.  I was thankful to get out with most of my body parts still intact.

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