April 18, 2014

Easter Tradition - Blessing of the Food

Today I will be preparing for Swieconka,  the blessing of the Easter basket. This Polish traditions dates back to the 15th century and not only is observed in Poland but by descendant of Poles in the United States, Canada, along with other Polish Parish communities.

The basket is lined with a beautiful cloth, decorated with bows and flowers, with a white cloth to cover the basket when it is filled with the food that is to be blessed.

Typical baskets would be filled with symbolic foods that will be eaten on Sunday morning.

My Easter basket will be blessed with the following. . .

*eggs - symbolize life and Christ's resurrection
*bread - symbolic of Jesus
*lamb- represents Christ
*salt - represents purification
*horseradish - symbolic of the bitter sacrifice of Christ
*ham - symbolic of great joy and abundance

The butter in the form of a lamb, Baranek Wielkanocny/Easter lamb, will represent Christ in my basket, while some people will bring a cake in the shape of a lamb. I will put cloves in for the eyes and tie a red ribbon around the neck of the lamb. 

I will be boiling my eggs for the basket today using onion skins, as did my grandparents, and aunts. The color of the egg will be a very pretty brown almost copper colored.

I will pick up the kielbasa/Polish sausage from the Polish grocery store today along with some Polish rye bread. The ham is in the refrigerator.

Fond memories from my childhood come to mind about the blessing of the Easter baskets. The church bells would toll in our Polish community announcing the blessing of the baskets. You would see families rushing to the church, the church would be decorated so beautifully.

This was my father's photo of the church from Easter in 1929, the church was celebrating its twenty- fifth anniversary. The altar was filled with Easter lilies. The Felician nuns decorated the church beautifully for all special occasions.

Does your family have any Easter traditions? I would love to hear and learn about others' traditions.


  1. This is the tradition that I have never experienced. I always wanted to know more traditions from my Polish heritage but grew up in the west where there were none.

  2. What a lovely tradition! I am so happy to see parts of our country that continue to participate in these wonderful traditions.