Easter in Poland is a joyous family day. After the Resurrection Mass in church, families return home to a sumptuous brunch.
The white-covered table is laden with spreads of cold meats and salads, with a centre-piece of the Easter basket filled with hard-boiled and colourfully hand-painted eggs.
Children love cracking eggs, knocking them against each other’s. The egg with the fewest cracks is the winner. Hard to dispute the evidence as cracks cannot be covered over.
Disappointments are soon forgotten as hungry people tuck into the much-awaited feast, a side table already beckoning with its own array of cakes. The Easter Babka, a large round cake with a hole in the middle (like a voluminous skirt) looks the most tempting with its decorations of miniature chocolate eggs and sugar flowers.
Easter Monday is another day of fun for young people when they sprinkle each other with water to celebrate Smigus-dyngus – a nod to the Church tradition of ‘cleansing’. There is no imagination required to picture the ‘sprinkling’ becoming a drenching game! With no fear, for once, of a reprimand – as the prim and proper older people laugh, reminiscing about their own antics in their youth.