This week promises a daily post on Global Mom’s week spent traveling with her family in Poland.
Why travel to Poland at this time of year? There were a number of reasons, not the least of which was the opportunity to stand with our two youngest, our two teenaged boys, in the sites made infamous by the Holocaust. In two posts from now, I’ll return to that part of our journey in detail.
Another guiding reason for choosing wintry Poland over a sunny place to the south, was because Poland, as you might know, is a predominantly Catholic country. And this was Easter. And I’d researched how elaborate yet reverent the Polish Easter celebrations are. This drew me. So much, actually, that I began practicing the Polish equivalent of “Happy Easter”; Wesołego Alleluja!
But, you ask, isn’t Italy also Catholic? And warm? Wouldn’t you find an Easter celebration there…or two? With the Pope, maybe?
Actually, Italy is officially 80% Catholic, while Poland is nearly 90%. But you’re right that Italy is a good 20 degrees warmer than Poland when an unexpected Noreaster sweeps down from the Baltic Sea, shizzes through Poland’s primeval forests, crackles over the northern lowlands, and drops a major snowstorm on Warsaw just as the blossoms and pussy willows are being gathered for the holiday bouquets that worshippers gift each other or bring to their neighborhood cathedral. Poland’s Easter is usually brisk; this year it was glacial.
Still, I think you’ll see in the following gallery that cold temperatures did little to freeze Polish devotion. Cathedrals full to overflowing. Easter flowers and offering baskets sold and toted everywhere. And that one little fragile Babcia (grandma), who, upon leaving St. Anne’s cathedral on Warsaw’s Old Town square, stopped, set her basket on the stone floor, unwrapped the shawl around her chin, and leaned forward to kiss the wooden feet of the Christ statue on the entry cross.
(No, I couldn’t – and wouldn’t – get that shot.)
But I got others. So enjoy, and feel free to share.
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