How do you spend Easter Monday? The day is among those holidays observed by Amish. Here in heavily-Catholic Poland the Poles pack the churches.

Right now I’m in Warsaw at my grandmother’s, waiting for family to arrive. We’ll have ten people filling the apartment for the traditional meal. My grandmother has gotten more creative in recent years and incorporated turkey with peach halves into the menu. I’ve been smelling and eyeballing that since I woke up.

The Easter bunny has, for the most part, not burrowed his way into Polish culture (but with the growing popularity of western traditions such as Halloween and Valentine’s Day, it may just be a matter of time). Easter egg hunts and egg rolls are not found much here either.

Polish Easter EggsHowever, Poles do decorate eggs in a variety of ways resulting in elaborate and beautiful designs. There is a tradition of scratching or etching the surface of the egg as well as tracing designs into an egg dipped in wax. Painted and carved wooden eggs are also part of the tradition.  I took a photo of some of the eggs on our table here.

There is also the custom of śmigus-dyngus, aka “Lany Poniedzialek” (Wet Monday). On Wet Monday you have free license to douse passersby with water, though it’s typically young boys soaking girls. If you get splashed, it traditionally means someone likes you. It can also simply turn into a full-fledged waterfight.

The tradition is popular in villages, but even here in the capital you’ll see footage of water flying on the evening news. Luckily for anyone who gets wet, the sun is shining powerfully today. Yesterday it was snowing.

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