What did I do for my Easter weekend?

I’m a little late to the show, but I wanted to give you a bit of a life update on my Easter, as I haven’t posted any proper one in quite a while, and I saw this question on Carol Anne’s blog,

so I thought I’d answer the question and write the update in one go. 😀

So, my Easter? Nothing too unusual. We were invited for two dinners, on Sunday and Monday, to my Dad’s family. I was very nervous about that but some time before the holidays I decided that I’m not going to any of them and no one will make me go there, especially that Olek wasn’t going either. I’m so glad I didn’t go. Gatherings with my Dad’s family always feel even more boring than any others, with my Mum’s family I have at least a little bit of common ground and they are more communicative. Also, on Tuesday it was my grandad’s name day, my maternal grandad, I only have one grandad anyway, and if I had to choose I’d definitely prefer to go to him rather than to those yucky dinners, and I felt like that would be impossible for me to do to go for three days in a row socialising (especially that it turned out that there was fourth in stock for me too, but that’s another story). But other than my personal feelings, there is currently very bad atmosphere at my Dad’s family. The uncle who invited us on Sunday is freshly after divorce, and the uncle to whom we were invited on Monday has been drinking even since before Easter, he’s an alcoholic. And apparently both those dinners were quite unpleasant. Besides I’m feeling depressed lately and just not into that, even more than usual.

I don’t know if there is such a tradition in any other countries, but in Poland, on Easter Sunday, we have a resurrection mass very early in the morning. I’d never been to one prior to this year, we’d usually go for the Easter eve service at night or however it’s called, as it’s nowadays usually celebrated together with the Easter liturgy in the end. But my Mum really wanted to go, and I was curious too how it feels. Only that I got very little sleep that night. I usually get very little sleep at night or none at all if I know that I have to be somewhere early. This time, I fell asleep like a baby, quickly and early, but woke up at 1 AM and was wide awake since then. My sleep cycle is in a messed up phase since almost two weeks now though. We were meant to get up at about 4:30. So at least the only advantage to the situation was that I wasn’t groggy in the morning, while my whole family were all yawning and one brain hemisphere still far away in Dreamland, while the other having to face the brutal harshness of the real world, yes waking up at such early hours especially if you have to go out is a yucky state to be in. But it’s just a few minutes and then everything’s OK. So we went to the mass and it was really beautiful, I always like the late night services like the midnight mass on Christmas more, but in the early morning it’s also very atmospheric. We had a yum yum yummilicious Easter breakfast. I wanted to get Zofijka Flips for Easter (Flips, or Flipsy actually, are a kind of vintage, unflavoured Polish crisps that Zofijka likes, there are flavoured too, but for some reason our usually fussy Zofijka prefers unflavoured), but she expressed her wish very late and I didn’t manage to get hold of them before Easter. I also got perfumes for Mum but they haven’t arrived yet. I got some sweets from Mum and Zofijka.

A while after breakfast, Mum, me, Zofijka and Jocky went for a long walk which was very nice and helped to clear out my brain a bit and I felt a little better emotionally. The most of the rest of the day I spent just with Misha, and Olek in his room, and we all were just chilling out and stuffing ourselves with food and sweets.

Easter Monday is a weird day in Poland, because people pour water on each other. Or in practice, anything they can put their hands on. Just a tradition. So I was woken up by Mum, splashing the water from a bottle at me. At least Mum is more human-like, when Zofijka came in with her bottle, my whole duvet got soaked, not to mention myself. I’ll have to use Olek’s strategy next year. Before he went to sleep, he got himself a big bottle and placed it beside him. And whenever anyone even opened the door to his rom, he’d splash the water at them immediately. Dad and Zofijka tried to outsmart him, Zofijka opened the door quietly and Dad wanted to quickly pour him over, but Olek was quicker. And everyone was shrieking and screaming and the water was all over Olek’s walls, bed, TV, all over Zofijka and Dad. And believe me, at our house it’s really low key and decent, my Mum is actually afraid of going out on the streets on Easter Monday, because people don’t always seem to know where good-humoured fun ends, and stupidity begins, or my aunt likes to greet all her visitors on Easter Monday by soaking them from head to toes. 😀 We only have a bit of splashing around in the morning and then it’s over.

So the rest of the day was calm for me. After we came back from the church I was sitting on the terrace with Mum and we were chatting about lots of things. It was very sunny. They weren’t long at that other dinner, probably because of my uncle being, hm, poorly. I was feeling pretty blah emotionally most of the day but tried to distract myself by catching up on the correspondence with my penfriends.

So, nothing unusual, as you see. But overall, even with me feeling low, it wasn’t as bad as Easter last year was for me, with my very grumpy Daddy not being satisfied with anything. Most of all I’m glad I didn’t go to those flippin dinners.

How about your Easter? 🙂

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Question of the day.

Do you have any Easter traditions?

My answer:

We do have some, but they’re nothing very special, just common things in Poland or at least in our area, don’t know much how about other countries, but I guess pretty many of them are rather exclusive to our country or Slavic regions. One of them is the Easter basket, but it’s not the kind of Easter basket people have in the US, or at least so I guess. On Holy Saturday we prepare the Easter basket with bread, salt, eggs, easter eggs, pieces of cakes, and some other basic and not so basic food we’ll be eating on Easter, we decorate it and go to the church with it to be blessed. Usually children do it, as they really like it. You don’t put all the food you’re having on Easter to the basket, although some people do so, to show off, it’s just a symbol. We are quite a religious country, so Christian celebrations occupy quite an important place in our Easter traditions, but actually, I think it’s rather logical because Easter is a Christian holiday after all. So early in the Easter morning people are going for the resurrection mass. Not all people do it, some go late in the evening, or actually at night, for Holy Saturday celebrations linked with the resurrection, so do we, we’re too lazy to jump from the beds at dawn. 😀 And some people go later during Easter for a less festive mass.

And then of course we have the Easter breakfast. Although my family is pretty large, we’ve always eaten Easter breakfasts at home, just my parents and siblings and me, and Misha of course. Honestly, as for food, I much prefer Christmas food, I guess there are more Christmas traditions related to food than it’s on Easter. I guess most people have żurek soup for Easter, usually with an egg and white sausage. Overall, I’m not a big fan of żurek, I wouldn’t eat it at a restaurant or anything like this, but my Mum’s is very yummy. Also, most people have the cake called Easter bab(k)a, made in many different ways depending on the region and other things. Also people tend to have eggs made in different ways or different dishes with eggs. My Mum always makes a salad or a few, and our family loves pierogi to pieces. Generally there aren’t any traditional pierogi for Easter, only for Christmas. But we love them so much, especially my brother, that a few years ago Mum finally came up with the idea she’ll make Easter pierogi, with white sausage – which people associate with Easter here – and cabbage. They’re absolutely delicious, although still, Christmas pierogi are better. 😀 Lots of people make a cake called mazurek, it can be made in many different ways, flavours, with different ingredients, but we’ve never had it and actually I’ve even never eaten it myself. What my Mum does every Easter is a yeast cake called drożdżówka, with different fruit in it, this year we’re having apples.

Another tradition, which is now held only by Zofijka at our home, is decorating Easter eggs. She’s so very good at it. There are many different regional ways people do it, so it’s actually like art for some people, but Zofijka does it in just her own way. I’ve also heard about people playing some games with Easter eggs. People often have the Easter lamb to decorate the table, it’s often made of butter, sugar, cake with icing… but no one eats it actually. 😀

And then of course there are presents, which I guess don’t differ that much from anywhere in the world where Easter is celebrated. We also have a bunny, or a lamb, which as children believe leaves them presents. Many families do so that before you get your present, you need to find it, and they often hide the presents all around the backyard, but I guess now it isn’t so popular as for example when my Mum was a kid. Many people tend to think Easter presents must be more humble, simply and logically, because bunny won’t be able to carry as much as Santa Claus, but because children don’t like it and terrorise their parents, I don’t think many people care about poor bunny’s muscles. So that’s about the Easter Sunday, usually when we have any bigger holidays, people tend to eat a lot and very often meet with the ffamily. We visit my grandparents on Mum’s side and my gramma on Dad’s side, the rest of the family often comes over then too.

Easter Monday is rather funny, although a bit annoying for some as well, ’cause people soak each other. We call Easter Monday śmigus-dyngus. People are going around with bottles of water or other things you can have water in and just pour it over each other, some more gentle people will just sprinkle you, but that’s not a rule. You can have a nice start of the day being drowned in your ow bed lol. No I’m joking o f course, but people really like this day and take advantage of it as much as possible. So it’s better not to go out on the streets, ’cause lots of people are overexcited and take the symbolic holiday too seriously. 😀 But if you know how to have fun, it’s fun. It’s one of Zofijka’s favourite holidays.

And I guess that’s all I could say about our family’s Easter traditions and Polish traditions in general.

How about your traditions? Do you do something special at home on Easter time? Is there something you do in your country that not many people abroad do? 🙂