Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
In Poland Easter is one of the two most important Holidays that whole families celebrate together. Although Christmas is much longer and stronger celebrated – as all the cities get embellished during that period – many tend to say that Easter is even more important in Christian tradition. The families in Poland get together to celebrate that Jesus Christ gave his life for us and resurrected after 3 days.
One of the symbols of resurrection, and the new born life, is an egg. To stress that fact, eggs are the most important components of Easter dishes. But before the Poles sit at the tables together to consume all the Easter dishes, they embellish their eggs and bring them to the church so that the priest could bless them.
The embellished egg is most of the time called ‘pisanka’. The name, however, depends on the method with which the egg was embellished. The egg does not need to be hen’s (it could be also duck’s etc.) but most of the time is.
Below are the most popular methods of embellishing Easter eggs and the Polish names that describe such eggs (however the common name for all of them, used in Poland, is still ‘pisanka’):
The egg boiled in some paint infusion gets colorful. Most of the time the natural pigments are used. Brown color one can get from boiling eggs with red onion leaves, pink from boiling it with beetroot and golden-yellow when you put to the pot bark of young apple tree.
If you take KRASZANKA and scratch it with a razor, you are likely to get ‘skrobanka’ (or ‘drapank’) out of it. One may get simple shapes and patterns up to very artistic and complicated ones.
If you put the pattern before boiling the egg in a given pigment, you will get ‘pisanka’. Before putting it to the boiling water, you must make the pattern with a wax (by placing it on the egg with a sharp thing – like needle or pin). The cooked egg will show white pattern on the colorful shell.
This sort of egg is obtained by sticking different kinds of material on the eggs. You may glue to your egg colorful paper or wool.
Such Easter eggs are perfect for the Easter basket that the Poles take to the church. Among all the food that is blessed by the priest (like sausage, bread, salt etc.) the embellished eggs remind of the happy meaning of Easter.