Wielkanoc…A Polish Easter today in Liverpool…..
Today, Easter Saturday, saw a count of 3,000 Polish enter the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Every Easter at this time, Polish, typically children, bring brightly decorated baskets of food to church to have them blessed.
These baskets traditionally contain a piece of sausage, bread, egg, mazurek (a traditional Easter cake) some salt, some horseradish and a symbolic ram made from dough.
In addition ‘pianki’ are included- painted boiled eggs which have been prepared in the lead-up to Easter by the whole family.
Each of these components of the basket has a symbolic meaning. The eggs and meat symbolise new life, fertility and health, the salt protects against bad spirits and helps you follow the right path, the bread symbolises the body of Christ and by this future prosperity in terms of always having food to feed yourself, and finally, the horseradish represents skills and talents needed for the coming year.
Rezurekcja (Resurrection), a traditional mass with procession, is held Saturday night (10pm tonight at St Patricks, Toxteth).
On Easter Sunday, families gather together to celebrate with an Easter breakfast of every type of meat, sausage, egg, pate, and cakes -‘swieconka’ (food blessed in the church) which is shared with all.
Each person places a small piece of the blessed food on their plate before exchanging wishes with other members of the family.
The symbolic dough ram is placed on the table to symbolise the resurrection of Christ.
Today, quite a few English visitors viewing the Cathedral followed the procession into the Cathedral. Several asked me today, when I was on duty at the entrance, about the ‘special day’. I hope I have now put you in the picture and hope you all had a very enjoyable sightseeing in Liverpool and look forward to seeing you again in our beautiful, bustling, exciting city.