Holy Saturday Celebrates Polish Traditions
The Swieconka (blessing of the Easter food) occurs on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter).
This Polish tradition was inspired by an ancient ritual and began in the early Middle Ages.
On Holy Saturday, Polish Catholics bring baskets of Easter foods to their church to be blessed. The baskets are creatively decorated with colorful linens, boxwood, and ribbons.
The Swieconka is a three-part blessing of the Easter meal.
The food presented typically includes ham, kielbasa, bread, cakes (babka), eggs, butter (baranek), cheese, horseradish, salt, vinegar and oil.
The priest blesses the food with holy water, and the food is taken home and set aside.
On Easter morning, the family shares a blessed egg, the ancient symbol of life.
However, the modern Church has largely ignored these traditions.
Fortunately, the Swieconka is still celebrated by traditional Polish Catholics.