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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Poland Series at PolishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Polish holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 7 - Easter. In Polish, it’s called Wielkanoc.
Today we will discuss the second most popular holiday in Poland, Easter. This is a so-called floating holiday, which means that every year it falls on a different day. For example, in 2014 it was celebrated on April 20, in 2015 on April 5, in 2016 on March 27, and in 2017 on April 16.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What is the most popular traditional method of coloring eggs for Easter these days?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Easter is a family celebration; it’s a joyful and colorful time of year, when Poles look forward to the upcoming spring, which is called wiosna in Polish. One of the many traditions associated with this holiday is to prepare the święconka which is a basket made of wicker, filled with bread, eggs, sausage and horseradish or mustard, and decorated with spring flowers and boxwood. On the day before Easter, Polish people carry these baskets to the church, where they are blessed by the priest, or in Polish, ksiądz. On Easter Sunday, before sitting down to a festive breakfast, all members of a household share the blessed food and wish each other happiness and prosperity.
One thing that is closely associated with Easter is pisanki or Easter eggs. In Poland many traditional methods of decorating and dyeing eggs have survived to this day. Pisanki are eggs that have patterns drawn on them with molten wax and are then immersed in dye. Kraszanki on the other hand, are eggs that are boiled in a dye made from plants. In the past, the Church forbade people to eat these eggs during Easter, as they originally were a pagan symbol of rebirth.
Easter is symbolic of the rebirth of life. For religious people, it is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and for those who are not religious, a time to meet with family, eat breakfast together, have fun decorating eggs, and prepare special dishes. Besides Easter eggs, one thing essential to any Easter table is a number of special dishes that include eggs, like żurek, which is sour rye soup, white sausage, pate (which is best if homemade), as well as pascha, mazurek and babka (which are all cakes). The table itself is always decorated with bunnies, chicks, catkins, narcissus, tulips, and other spring flowers.
In Poland, colored eggs are not just used for decoration, but also used in games. Probably the most popular game is the egg fight, where players tap one end of their egg against the egg of their opponent. The person whose egg doesn’t break is the winner, and they then take the egg of the loser. Each egg that has been won should be eaten for good luck.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the most popular, traditional method of coloring eggs for Easter these days?
The most popular natural dye for eggs is cebula meaning onion. Onion skin is boiled along with the eggs to achieve the desired color, the skin is usually collected a long time before Easter. This dye gives the egg shells a beautiful golden-brown color.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you decorate Easter eggs in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at PolishPod101.com!
See you next time!