This month, across the world, we have seen many joyful Easter celebrations. In Eastern European countries, Easter traditions reflect the fact that Easter is the most important and religious Holiday, even more so than Christmas. The details may vary within countries but, overall, the celebrations are largely similar, Poland being a perfect example of the customary Easter tradition.


Whilst many people celebrate Easter with egg hunts and chocolate, Eastern European traditions emphasise the symbolism and meaning behind Easter. For example, in Poland, Easter celebrations begin on Holy Saturday and, on the Monday morning after Easter, children sprinkle each other with water to wake them up, a tradition called Smigus-Dyngus. Other traditions such as Pisanki also take place where families decorate their blessed eggs by painting intricate patterns and colourful designs with Christian symbols.


On Holy Saturday families take food in baskets to their local church and the priest blesses them to make the food holy. Later in the day, a priest goes to people’s houses to bless the table of food which is prepared for Easter dinner and to also bless their home. Easter Sunday is busy with church services and Easter dinner which consists of lamb shaped cakes, meats, salads, and the colored Easter eggs. 


In London, Slavic families also observe similar traditions and many people combine these with the traditions in England, such as going to Palm Sunday services. When discussing traditions with Natalia, 46, a family friend, she said: “I follow my Polish Easter traditions as well as including the fun parts of Easter that lots of people do here, like egg hunts”


Hopefully, the mixing of traditions will stay strong, and continue as a time for families to celebrate together!