April 21, 2011 by Kuma
It’s immediately obvious that every holiday is spent and celebrated in a different way in different countries, sometimes even within one country. Everything depends on the culture of a given region, its traditions and history. This is makes every holidays and us, the people honoring this occasion, so interesting.
For example – Poland.
From Maundy Thursday or Good Friday till the second festival most people have got free time. First the Paschal Triduum, next Święconka (consecrating baskets of food that is eaten on Easter Sunday) and finally Easter Sunday with its ceremonious breakfast. A tandem – the blessed baskets are one of the most popular and well thought of tradition, especially by children. We put into them meat or cold meat (symbol of the end of Lent), salt, eggs (they may be already painted; symbol of birth), butter (means wealth), horseradish (symbol of Jesus Christ’s ordeal) bread and some sweets. We can’t also forget about Easter lamb, which is a symbol of the Ressurection. Of course the baskets do not contain whole chicken or brands of butter, nor loaves of bread or a bright baa-lamb! but figurative amounts. For breakfast we eat eggs… actually all this sacred food, żurek, babka, mazurek and lots of others. This dishes aren’t as specified as the twelve dishes on Christmas.
I’m not actually sure how it is in other countries but I decided to look for some kind of strange or interesting traditions all over the world and here we go…
Pomlazki are a young, willow branches braided in plates. In some regions of the Czech Republic instead pomlazkis, young boys beat girls with long branches of juniper, hard, elastic and covered by sharp pins. And it all centers around courtship. Yeah, such an interesting way to propose! And… what do feminists think about it?
Let’s get back for a moment to Poland. This what I found:
‘An equally spectacular celebration also involves herring – another symbol of Lent. With great joy and satisfaction, people “hanged” the poor fish nailed to a tree. In this way, the herrings were punished for the fact that for six Sundays he “expelled” meat from the menu.’
I have no questions! Strange, indeed.
Here the top dog are eggs! Both Chocolate and ‘normal’. Britons roll eggs… and this, which will find a prearranged place – wins. I have no idea for what, where, how – nobody writes about it. But it’s still great, isn’t it? A Second activity with eggs is scrapping with eggs. Two people have got eggs and beat each other and the loser is person, whose egg breaks first. Again – I have no idea for what but it’s cool.
Here is something stranger! Easter Bonnet. I really can’t understand it. This is making hats, decorating those and wearing them. This is symbol of revivalism and salvation. In schools, some time before Easter, kids design these hats and people even organize competitions for the best Easter Bonnet!
What has this got in common with Easter? I have no idea.
It’s hard to imagine Spain without corrida. There are special performances which are really popular. Spanish tradition is also ‘Semana Santa’. Spanish artists sculpt effigies of Jesus Christ and his ordeal which, decorated by flowers, are moved to the church. This procession also reenacts particular moments of The Way of the Cross.
Here somebody, I guess, confused Easter with Halloween. Because children are dressed up as Easter witches. Typically, these are girls aged 5-11 years old. On Holy Saturday they walkfrom house to house and, in return for giving Easter cards, they demand that they get into their basket some candies or a figurative contrivution.
Lastly – Philippines.
There already were sadistic beatings women and now something masochistic.
In the final part of the performence The way of the Cross, volunteers are nailed to the cross. The nails are 10 cm long and the volunteers treat this as a form of ritual prayer.
Like we see, there aren’t only typical, would like to say – normal – traditions. Every country, in every culture people celebrate Easter in different ways. Sometimes their way hasn’t got anything common with Easter but… does it matter?