Keeping the Easter Spirit Alive in Amsterdam

As you may still remember from my last year’s blog post about my Easter experience in Poland, I’m a religious person who very seriously approaches these unique rituals connected to this special celebration. To me, Easter’s a time of joy and love filled with spiritual moments and homemade delicacies. It’s a season of the year that presents an opportunity for me to once again reflect on my life, religion and the life of Christ. It keeps me calm and fulfilled, so no matter where in the world I am, back home or in China, I try to follow Easter traditions as much as I can.

My beautiful Amsterdam.

This year, I am spending Easter with a person closest to my heart – my mom and my best friend – in our favourite city – Amsterdam. We’ve been cooking and baking a lot, laughing and talking for hours. We could finally catch up with daily stories and my travel adventures, but how did I keep the Easter spirit alive? – You may wonder …

Celebrating Easter with my mom in Amsterdam.

*Palm Sunday*

One of the very first signs of approaching Easter in Poland is a large number of dried flowers being brought to church on Sunday, a week before Easter takes place. This day is called Palm Sunday and it is one of my favourite Easter preparation days. Everyone brings pussy willows made of colorful woven dried branches making the church look like a rainbow. Once they get blessed, you can keep them in your room and place it in the middle of the Easter table.

Blessed “palemka wielkanocna” (Eng. Easter palm tree) brought from Poland to Amsterdam by my mom.

Although I didn’t bring my palm tree to the church I usually go to in Amsterdam, I did attend the mass on Palm Sunday and got a lovely boxwood twig from a local priest.

My Easter boxwood twig.

Moreover, my mom brought her blessed “palm tree” from Poland so the spirit of this tradition was still alive!

*House cleaning*

One of Easter traditions is deep cleaning of the entire house during the Holy Week. I also cleaned not only my room, but also the entire bathroom, kitchen and the outside area of our apartment with my mom. I usually hate cleaning so it was a big commitment from my side!

*Egg painting*

On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, people in Poland paint hard-boiled eggs, thus I couldn’t skip this tradition while in Amsterdam. We bought eggs, boiled them and painted using colorful markers!

Easter basket ready to get blessed.

*Easter basket*

Another Saturday activity is the preparation of Easter baskets that contain a sampling of Easter foods such as painted boiled eggs, homemade sausage or sliced ham, salt and pepper, piece of bread and some cakes.

Choosing the perfect Easter basket.

They are brought to church to be blessed and then eaten for an Easter breakfast. Me and my mom also decorated our Easter basket and headed to the church to bless it!

*Easter Sunday*

On Easter Sunday, I went to church for the Resurrection mass with my mom. We have our special place here called de Vrouwe van alle Volkeren (Eng. the Foundation Lady of all Nations) located nearby RAI station. It’s our hidden gem where we pray together, meditate and charge batteries for upcoming months of travels, daily work routine and challenges life brings us.

Heading to de Vrouwe van alle Volkeren on Sunday morning.

We wished each other and people around Joyful Hallelujah!

*Easter breakfast*

Our Easter breakfast, following Polish traditions, was dominated by cold dishes, homemade ham, sausage, roast meats, pâté, boiled eggs, horseradish relish and some bread. It’s one of these meals where you don’t count calories, neither try to eat healthy – Easter breakfast definitely has to be considered a day-off from the Spring diet!

*Easter treats*

We didn’t buy a lot of sweets this Easter because my mom brought some homemade delicacies from Poland and we did some baking here in Amsterdam.

Chocolate brownies, real yum!

Usually we would dig into a plate of Babka – a traditional tall and sweet yeast Easter cake with a hole in the middle – or Mazurek cake with a fat layer of icing, decorated with dried fruit, walnuts, almonds, roasted seeds, but … this year we treated ourselves with sweet pancakes in the morning, homemade cheesecake in the afternoon and creamy muffins in the evening!

Chocolate pancakes with whipped cream and bulletproof coffee.

*Wet Monday*

The Easter tradition continues on Monday with Wet Monday – Śmingus-Dyngus on which I an supposed to throw water over my mom and spank her with willow branches!

Dear Etramping readers, fellow bloggers and travelers, we wish you a happy, peaceful, and fun Easter filled with marshmallows, chocolate, and jelly beans. Have fun Easter egg hunting and hanging out with family. May you be blessed with God’s warm love and trust in his living grace this Easter!

How and where did you celebrate your Easter?

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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32 thoughts on “Keeping the Easter Spirit Alive in Amsterdam”

  1. Laura @Travelocafe

    It’s great that you did some backing for Easter. I am sure everything turned out perfect in the end.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Laura, didn’t you know I love baking? :) I bake weekly and this is one of my biggest passions. Check out my baking blog –> runagnessrun.com :-)

  2. How: Basically I celebrate Easter the same way you did. I always try to fold my palms into the cross formation but end up failing and giving it to my mom. :) Although, I’ve never heard of cleaning your house for Easter or Wet Monday. I just can’t go to church on Easter or even Good Friday. The story of how Jesus died is just too sad. I bawl my eyes out in the middle of church and no one else seems to.
    Where: The USA of course. Maybe someday in Poland or Amsterdam. :)

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Katarina, that’s amazing! I didn’t know you would celebrate Easter the same way I did!! Amazing!! x

  3. Love all these details about your Easter celebrations :)! I celebrated Easter abroad for the first time this year and it included Easter Mass at Notre Dame, brunch in Paris, and a visit to the Sacred Heart Basilica. It was really awesome – my post about it will be up later this week :)!

  4. CL (RealGunners)

    I never knew Easter is such an elaborate process! Maybe I’m not a Christian, so I never noticed. Here in Malaysia, I always only see people going to church on Easter Sunday, then have a feast or something, and that’s it. Interesting for me to read this. ;)

    1. Agness Walewinder

      It is, indeed when you’re Catholic. We have a lot of different Easter customs and amazing traditions that I love to follow!! :) I’m glad you found it interesting. Happy Easter!! x

  5. It’s so beautiful that you are so close to your mom! You are not only family but also best friends :).
    We really miss Easter with all Polish traditions, like painting eggs, blessing palms etc. Here is China we didn’t feel the spirit of Easter but thanks to Skype we could spend some time with our family.

  6. Best attraction of the fully established for the Easter spirit in Amsterdam. Thanks a lot of the tourists.

  7. Hah, great to see you had such a wonderful Easter here in Amsterdam. Funny– I don’t know any of the original Christian traditions, we usually just go to the Albert Heijn to buy ourselves a nice, lovely breakfast, then visit family for some coffee & cake. I spent this Easter in Germany though, which makes you realise it’s a miracle that grocery stores in Amsterdam are open pretty much 365 days a year, unlike in Essen, where we had to go to the train station to find some bread :-P

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Germany? That is also a great place to explore!!! The bread story is funny, really? The majority of supermarkets were open till 7 pm!! :-D Poor you!

  8. Hi Agnes!
    I enjoyed reading this post very much. The photos are very beautiful too. I, along with my boyfriend, skipped Easter(rather, he did) this time and were in Amsterdam!! But during Śmingus-Dyngus day, I along with another Polish friend went in the middle of the fountain in front of Rijkmuseum for a photo and joked that it was our Polish Smigus Dyngus, ha ha.
    I only came to know about Easter traditions from up close when I went to Poland. I missed the white kielbasa this time.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Pooja!! We should meet soon!!! :) I’m glad you recognize kiełbasa – best Polish sausage! :)x

  9. It’s lovely that you still manage to keep this tradition alive in Amsterdam. I’m in Yangon, and I totally forgot about Easter because it’s not really celebrated here. I do miss the chocolate eggs..

  10. Heather @ Ferreting Out the Fun

    Looks like you and your Mom enjoyed a very special weekend! I celebrated Easter in Kaunas, Lithuania. It’s so interesting to experience how other countries and cultures celebrate the holidays!

  11. Suze - Luxury Columnist

    The Easter palm tree that your Mum bought you is beautiful. It’s nice to read about such a genuine, non-materialistic celebration like yours

  12. Vanessa @ The Travelling Colognian

    Thank you so much for sharing the way you celebrate Easter and for giving an insight into Polish Easter tradtions. It seems that you had a wonderful time with your Mom and it’s amazing that she brought her blessed palm tree from Poland. For me, Easter is a feast which I try to celebrate with my family, boyfriend and relatives when I am not just abroad. This year my boyfriend and I visited an Easter market at Burg Satzvey on Easter Sunday, one of the best-preserved moated castles in Germany. On Easter Monday we celebrated with my cousin and his family, with my uncles and aunts. Unfortunately we couldn’t spend that much with my parents because they were quite busy those days preparing for their flight to China last Tuesday. So far they have been to Beijing, Guilin and Yangshuo and they will be heading to Chengdu, Lanzhou, Xiahe and back to Beijing. :)

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you, Vanessa. I hope you will spend more time with your parents <3!! Exploring the castle in Germany during the Easter break must be a great experience!!

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