How many times we have heard people wax poetic about holidays their Babcia or mother would host full of tasty food and traditions. This year, instead of just reminiscing, add a little Polish tradition to your holiday yourself: use a butter lamb or decorate the table with pussy willows. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming to share our colorful heritage with your family.  Here’s a few recipie ideas from one of our favorite chefs, Barabara Rolek.

Święconka /Basket Blessings
One of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions is to have your Easter morning food blessed on Holy Saturday. With roots dating back to the 7th Century in early Poland, it is continues to observed by expatriates and their descendant Poles throughout the world. There are always certain items that should be in the basket along with your food. The priest then specifically address the various contents of the basket, with special prayers for the meats, eggs, cakes & breads. Many of the Mahoning Valley’s churches offer this option on Holy Saturday. Here’s a few who responded to our inquiery:

NOON            St. John the Baptist, Campbell

                       Holy Family, Poland

          St. Charles, Boardman

          St. Joseph, Austintown

          St. Dominic, Youngstown

          St. John Paul II Parish, Warren

          Holy Name of Jesus Church

12:30 PM       St. John the Baptist, Campbell

1:00 PM         St. Stanislaus Kostka, Youngstown

         St. Patrick, Hubbard

         St. Rose, Girard

         Queen of the Holy Rosary, Vienna

2:00 PM         St. Anne, Austintown

         St. Christine, Youngstown

                     St. Patrick, Youngstown

         St. Stanislaus Kostka, Youngstown (often followed by an an Easter egg hunt!)

2:30 PM         St.Stephen of Hungary, Youngstown

4:30 PM         St. Peter & Paul, Youngstown

3:00 PM         St. Columba Cathedral

Easter Monday is a time to celebrate…
After more than six weeks of Lenten fasting, abstaining, sacrificing and penance, all Catholics will be ready to celebrate. Easter Sunday is for praise and worship, but, in Polish tradition, Śmigus-Dyngus, the name for Easter Monday, was for mischief and fun. The stories of the holiday’s origins are mixed and can be found back to pagan eras. Most like to claim it remembers the baptism on Easter Monday of Mieszko I (Duke of the Poland, c. 935 - 992) in 966 AD, uniting all of Poland under the banner of Christianity. 

Today, if you're in Poland on Easter Monday, then 'look out for the water' is a useful piece of advice... It's known as Wet Monday for a reason! the water games also tend to develop into a free for all, where the nearest and most unsuspecting person – girl or boy, man or woman – is a legitimate target. And I mean WET! Water balloons are thrown from windows on strangers – and in some rare places even fire trucks have been known to join in! Learn more about it here

Modern celebrations are led by Buffalo’s Dyngus Day where the annual post-Lenten bash attracts tens of thousands to Buffalo, New York to celebrate spring, show Polish pride, flirt with pussy willows and listen to the best polka bands in the nation. Festivities take place in the city's Historic Polonia District celebrate with a level of enthusiasm that rivals the best St. Patrick's Day you have ever experienced – but better cause everyone is in red & white! Check out the schedule here

Closer to home, in Cleveland, our friends by lake created Dyngus Day Cleveland in 2011 and it has grown every year!  A little less traditional and certainly more kitschy, these festivities start this year at 7 AM! If you want to join us there is always room for one more! Check out this year’s schedule – that claims to include a REAL Polish wedding here

If you cannot make either of these great celebrations, make sure you celebrate close to home - use a squirt gun on all your family, friends and coworkers to keep the tradition alive.


Calendar Highlights

Sunday, April 8 10:30 AM Polish Arts Club of Youngstown Memorial Mass & Breakfast @ Sts. Peter Paul, Youngstown. Breakfast to follow is open to the public. Make reservations by calling 330-792-2769 ... Sunday, April 22 12 - 4 PM Polish Food Fest & Auction @ St. Joseph the Provider Church, Campbell…Saturday, May 5  6 PM - 11 PM Krakusy Society Constitution Day Celebration @ St. Christine Parish hall featuring entertainment by the Polish band PtakiFriday, June 15 7 PM Party on the Plaza – SLAVIC STYLE with Chardon Polka Band in Downtown Youngstown… Saturday, June 16 11 AM – 11 PM Simply Slavic in Downtown Youngstown …Sunday, July 1 Noon Lenny Gomulka @Gateway Clipper, Pittsburgh…Sunday, August 26 …


Do Zobaczenia!

Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team

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