|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. |
Another nice tradition to do is to have your Easter morning food blessed. In Poland, even the process of taking the basket of food to church is a festive occasion after the long, somber lenten period. 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. He then sprinkles the individual baskets with Holy Water, some even use the traditional straw brush for dispersing the water. Older generations of Polish Americans, descended from early 19th century immigrants, tend to bless the whole meal, often brought to church in large hampers & picnic baskets. Newer Polonian immigrants and those from urban Poland present the smaller arrangement of select goods just to give an idea of what will be eaten. Many of the Mahoning Valley’s churches offer this option on Holy Saturday. Two of our favorites include Fr. Kehneer’s blessing service at 3 PM at St. Columba and the fun combo event at St. Stanislaus at 2 PM which is followed by an Easter egg hunt.
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. Early in the morning, boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with palmy wielkanocne, decorated pussy willow branches. The custom of pouring water was an ancient spring rite of cleansing and baptism, the switching with willows to feel the sting of God’s suffering and make one feel worthy in the coming year. Today it is quite common for girls to attack potential suitors or even random strangers just as fiercely and often with perfume. 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.
In its eastern suburbs and the city's Historic Polonia District, Buffalo’s Dyngus Day is celebrated with a level of enthusiasm that rivals St. Patrick's Day. More than 100,000 people celebrate the day at more than 75 sites!
This good time has inspired the Polonia of Cleveland to celebrate the day themselves! PolishYoungstown has traveled to Buffalo and joined in the fun. This year we are showing our support for our friends by lake and heading to Dyngus Day Cleveland. Festivities start just after noon in what’s called the "Polish Triangle" the Gordon Square Arts District on the city's near west side. Highlight of the day's festivities is expected to be an accordion march up West 58th Street following the crowning of Ms. Dyngus 2012, at approximately 4 p.m. outside the ParkView NightClub. The Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle will be dancing some of their favorite upbeat folk and polka numbers at all the establishments and participating in the parade. If you want to join us there is always room for one more! If not, make sure you use a squirt gun on all your friends and coworkers instead to keep the tradition alive.
Support the Visa Waiver Law Campaign
Polonia is going high tech in its effort to gain support for the new law related to the visa waiver program. The proposed law has changed since October and we need to get our Congressional representatives to know we care about its passage. You can show support by sampling clicking your support here and type your message which will automatically be delivered to Ohio’s reps.
Tragic anniversary has questions still unanswered
Next week marks the second anniversary of the incident that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and, according to some, the story of what occurred that day has still not been told.
Many of the country's highest military and civilian leaders were on the presidential plane on April 10, 2010 when is crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia killing all 96 on board. The distinguished group was making the 1.5 hour flight to participate in the 70th Anniversary of the Katyń massacre. The on-going investigation carried out by the Polish Parliamentary Commission led by Antoni Macierewicz claims that since the first moments after the crash, Russian authorities have been destroying and manipulating vital evidence with the approval of the Polish government. He says the plane wreckage and the original black boxes with recordings of the last minutes of the fatal flight have been withheld by Russia. Forensic autopsies have not been performed, because access to the bodies of the victims had been denied. More
Pinching like an expert
Did you pierogi is probably the only Polish dish that has its own patron saint "Swiety Jacek z pierogami!", (St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) is an old expression of surprise, roughly equivalent to the American "good grief" or "holy smokes!". These little bits of trivia as well as tips on dough, fillings and storage are what you will learn by participating in our next Polska Kuchnia
session: pierogi on Sunday, April 22. Remember, space is limited so reserve your spot today! Find out more here
News from Poland
When it absolutely has to get there jutro
Another U.S. company has recognized the value of Poland’s strong economy and stratgic geographic position. A FedEx Corp.announced this week that it signed an agreement to acquire the Polish courier Opek. This is the latest step in FedEx’s strategy for growth in Europe. Opek, a family-owned company, was founded in 1994 and has built a well-established network which covers the entire country. Opek operates an automated hub in Lomianki, near Warsaw, and additional hubs in Łódź and Katowice. Learn more about this story here and other news from Poland at our Polish Media Watch
April 9 Dyngus Day celebrations Cleveland and Buffalo… April 21 Jimmy Kilian from Chicago , 28th anniversary of Happy Polkaland Show Celebration…May 12 Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park dedication, Columbus…
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team