Saturday, April 11, 2009


Every year, on the morning of Holy Saturday (the day before Easter), we go to St. Stanislaus for the swięconka tradition of "blessing of the baskets." I think this is more Polonian than Polish, but it involves making a basket with representative amounts of the Easter foods we're going to eat the next day (kielbasa, hard-boiled eggs, ham, poppyseed bread, horseradish, mustard, salt and pepper, a butter lamb, etc.) and bringing it to the church to be blessed.

After a few quick prayers, the priest opens the floor to blessing, and hundreds of old Polish ladies begin to push and shove to get to the front (this year, my mother and sister and I were among the first people, sitting in the third row, and we were probably the thirtieth to get our baskets blessed--to give you an idea of how vicious the Slavic shoving is). The baskets/platters are generally covered with plastic wrap, and as the priest starts sprinkling holy water on them, the old Polish ladies start ripping off the plastic wrap. "Ladies, ladies," the priest cautions. "If Jesus can pass through closed doors, He can pass through Saran wrap." His words are in vain, however, because the old Polish ladies know better. Every year, the combination of the shoving and the Saran wrap removal causes one old lady to drop her basket and scatter her entire Easter meal across the floor. (In recent years, my mother has begun to remove the Saran wrap as well, a side of her impending old-Polish-lady-ification).


-puck- said...

'tis proven, by the Polish theo-physicist Jan Łopuszański, that while the Son of God is capable of much, the diffusion through low density polyethylene fill is but apocryphal, and not found in any canonical Gospel.

priya said...

i wish i could have witnessed the stampede of polish ladies!