Ancient traditions role in EU countries

Dec 2013
473
Colentina
#1
* EU in this topic name means European , not only European Union


Easter in Poland is a religious holiday having many unique traditions and customs.

Many of these customs, having existed for thousands of years, are unknown to outsiders where the Easter Bunny, Easter Egg, Easter Parades and Easter Egg Hunts are widely accepted as the norm.
Perceived first and foremost as a religious holiday in Poland and Polish communities throughout the world, many Poles attend church services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and on Monday, which the Poles refer to as Smigus Dyngus.

The Blessing of the Easter Basket, which is called Swieconka in Poland, is an important Polish tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. During the day the basket, which is usually lined with white linen or lace napkins, is filled with an assortment of foods including but not limited to a lamb-shaped bread, salt, butter, horseradish and sausage. Also placed in the basket are special Easter eggs called pisanki.Many Poles believe that Lent, which is the forty-day fast before Easter, is not over until the basket has been blessed and this is the reason why it is called Blessing Basket.

These blessed foods are served during breakfast on Easter starting with a hard-boiled egg being sliced into pieces and given to each person at the table. As it is eaten best wishes are exchanged amongst the family.Often times the Polish host or hostess will serve "baranek wielkanocny," which is butter that has been shaped into a lamb, the Christian symbol for Christ, either by hand or in a lamb-shaped mould, alongside dinner.

Another tradition often mentioned, albeit not favorably, occurs on Smigus Dyngus which roughly translates to Wet Monday. This particular tradition, which continues today in some parts of Poland, involves buckets full of water being thrown at young girls. Why would this happen you ask? According to my source "in the past it meant that if a girl was wet she had more chances to get married." Unfortunately, according to my source the practice has become somewhat disorderly to the extent of water being thrown at the elderly and automobiles. The furor over such "stupidity" may bring this tradition to an end in the near future.




Bulgaria is another country having unique Easter traditions unlike those observed in most parts of the world.

The Lazarovden ceremonies, called Lazarouvane, have long lost their magic and ritual functions, but remains one of the best-loved Bulgarian traditions today.

The Saturday before Easter is a festival devoted to young girls, pastures, fields and woods. Lazarovden was quite an event in the life of every young girl, for then she could demonstrate to the village community that she had already grown to be a "complete maiden". A girl who did not participate in the lazarouvane could not have a loved one and was liable to be carried off by a dragon. The girls would gather in groups of about ten at the house of the prettiest one and start from there with their songs to make a round of the village.

The songs sung on St Lazar's Day praise the beauty of the maiden and her lover, the industry of the farmer, the purity of maternal love and express wishes for happiness and prosperity. After completing their round, the lazarki returned to the house they started from to share out among them the presents they had received. On the next day, Palm Sunday, they gathered again to go to the river and drop their willow wreaths in the stream. The wreath to be carried away the fastest would determine "the best girl", in whose home a humble feast would be given to the maidens.



Romania is another European country where you will find an abundance of traditions during Easter.

A week before the Easter, the Flowers Day (Romanian: “Florii”) is celebrated. This was initially dedicated to the Roman goddess Flora, but then it was celebrated in the memory of the Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem.This day is the celebration of the nature revival, when the willows, the fruit trees and the flowers bloom. The willow plays a very important role in the rituals.

The Thursday before the Easter is called “the Great Thursday”, “the Thursday of sufferings” or “the black Thursday”. Girls and women must finish sewing the new blouses for the Easter until this day. Otherwise they will be punished by Joimarita, a mythical woman who beats or burns them. She is believed to take the laziest girls at her home and eat them. Another (not so cruel) version goes that Joimarita spells those girls, so that they wouldn’t be able to work all the year.

According to the Romanian tradition, skies, graves, doors of heaven and hell open this day. The dead return to pass the Easter near the loved ones. They will remain at their old houses until the Saturday before the Rusalii, when pies and bowls are doled for their souls. It is believed that the spirits sit on the roofs or in the yards. As it is still quite cold, fires must be lighted in the morning and in the evening, so that the dead could have light and heat. The fires are lighted for every soul or it is only lighten a fire for all the dead souls. The brushwood can only be gathered by children, pure girls and old women, a day before and only by hand (they must not be cut). On the way home they must not be let down and will be placed on a fence or on another object until morning, when the fire will be lighted.


References:
Easter In Poland – Easter Traditions In Poland
Bulgarians Celebrate Best-Loved Spring Festival on St Lazar's Day - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency
Easter Traditions Romania
 
Last edited:
Nov 2012
881
Bulgaria, Black Sea region
#2
In Bulgaria we also call the easter eggs - ''pisani iaica''.

We make them in different colors. But the first egg always has to be red. The mother or grandmother takes the first egg and scrub the forehead, nose and cheeks of the children and family wishing them to be white, red and ruddy (bg: beli, rumeni i cherveni)... meaning to be healthy. This egg should not be thrown away but put in some special place (on the next year you check if the egg has rotten or dry, if it is dry the year will be fertile). Everyone fights with the eggs beating egg against egg with family and friends. If your egg stays whole without breaking, it is called ''borec'' (a fighter) and this means you will be healthy and very lucky all year long.

On Easter the women also make a special sweet bread called ''kozunak'' and normal rounded bread called ''pitka'' decorated with figures. The eggs are colored on Thursday or Saturday by the oldest women in the house. Easter is the most celebrated feast in Bulgaria.


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSu5CH1b80s"]Easter Guines Record in Sofia, Bulgaria - YouTube[/ame]
 

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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,587
Western Eurasia
#3
Another tradition often mentioned, albeit not favorably, occurs on Smigus Dyngus which roughly translates to Wet Monday. This particular tradition, which continues today in some parts of Poland, involves buckets full of water being thrown at young girls. Why would this happen you ask? According to my source "in the past it meant that if a girl was wet she had more chances to get married." Unfortunately, according to my source the practice has become somewhat disorderly to the extent of water being thrown at the elderly and automobiles. The furor over such "stupidity" may bring this tradition to an end in the near future.
this also exist in Hungary (also among Hungarians in Transylvania) and as far as i know also in Bohemia and Slovakia. maybe its root is from some pagan Slavic fertility rite? But it can also symbolize baptism. The males also say short poems. Of course nowadays it is moderated so except some folk groups who keep the old technique most males just sprinkle a little parfume on women.
 
Dec 2013
473
Colentina
#4
this also exist in Hungary (also among Hungarians in Transylvania) and as far as i know also in Bohemia and Slovakia. maybe its root is from some pagan Slavic fertility rite? But it can also symbolize baptism. The males also say short poems. Of course nowadays it is moderated so except some folk groups who keep the old technique most males just sprinkle a little parfume on women.
and among hungarians in Slovacia? :D
 

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