Blessing of the Easter Baskets
Święconka is the blessing of the Easter baskets and is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions.
In Poland, the blessing of the baskets is a practice dating to the 15th century or earlier. Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. Traditionally, the basket is lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen. Poles take special pride in preparing a decorative and tasteful basket with crisp linens, occasionally embroidered for the occasion, and boxwood and ribbon woven through the handle. Observing the creativity of other parishioners is one of the special joys of the event.
The food items in the Easter basket, as well as at the Easter Sunday breakfast when the blessed food is eaten, have special significance. There is a special blessing for meat, egg, cake, and bread, so baskets will most likely include these ingredients.
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