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.
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 …
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.
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.
Moreover, my mom brought her blessed “palm tree” from Poland so the spirit of this tradition was still alive!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
We wished each other and people around Joyful Hallelujah!
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!
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.
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!
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 travellers, 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!