Easter with the family

The same apologies for copying from 20 east but, you know, there are only so many hours in a day!

Well, shouts of “Wesołych Świąt” abound so I guess it must be Easter! In Poland you need to look at the calendar to work out what’s going on because the same “Wesołych Świąt” is used at Christmas. This bugs me because it’s the same as the American “Happy Holidays”, which always seem so….naff. Never mind, everyone is off now to perform the nationwide “holiday shuffle” that involves the following ingredients to one extent or another:

  1. Hitting the food shops as if you are provisioning Noah’s Ark simply because the shops are closed for one day and there’s a 1/10,000 chance that a small tribe might descend upon your home in an uninvited sort of way.
  2. Building up the entire families stress level to approximately four times the normal level through the need to clean the entire house twice and cook all of this food you bought – before the holiday even really starts.
  3. Engaging in family arguments about who’s going to be where on what day, when and who’s bringing the salads. Engaging in major arguments if any members of the extended family decide not to participate in any part of the celebrations.
  4. Making up a basket of goods to be blessed at the church tomorrow. Attend other church services.
  5. Driving around Poland to be in the right place at the right time.
  6. Sitting around with family members pretending to be having a good time when you would really rather be somewhere else having a better time.

Your mileage may vary.

In the heathen UK, this would be genuinely good news. Four days off work (Good Friday is not a holiday in Poland) and a chance to finish off those DIY jobs, take the family out to the countryside/seaside and enjoy some time together or just relax and enjoy some good TV. By family I mean your immediate family, not including the in-laws, out-laws, shake-it-all-about-laws! In Poland however, Easter (Pascha, Niedziela Wielkanocna, Wielkanoc) is not what I would call a ‘holiday’. It is altogether something more serious, more religious, more of a family duty, more stress than relaxation. That has some good points such as tradition & family but I’m beginning to think the list of bad points might be longer.

I suppose it’s different for people who’s family is a long way from Warsaw and these occasions are the only chance they get to spend time together, but that’s not the case with out family. We all live within easy drive of each other here in Warsaw, or close by and so we can and do see each other very often. There’s only so much you have to say and want to do and that’s all said and done a few times over. Now we can sit in the same room for three days and wonder what else there is to talk about? More often than not, the stress of preparing for the holiday means that all that is left to say is not terribly uplifting. Still, the arguments can at least help to pass the time. :)

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3 thoughts on “Easter with the family

  1. […] in Wheelville marks Easter in Slovenia; Polandian writes about the “ingredients” of “the nationwide ‘holiday shuffle'” in Poland, and Kinuk describes her family's Polish holiday feast; Csíkszereda Musings writes […]

  2. Ben says:

    I felt really sorry reading your post. No you’re not alone in thinking that things must change. But the politicians have been promising change for years…. let’s hope the changes will come.

  3. scatts says:

    Ben, we’re having some trouble with out alignment of comments to posts. I’m guessing this was supposed to be somewhere else?

    Let me know where and I’ll move it, if I can.


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