Spring holidays

The most important spring custom in the Tomaszów region is, of course, celebrating Easter. To this day, the most important preparation for Easter is the creation of kraszanek (painted eggs of one colour) and pisanki (multicoloured eggs with artistic ornaments). In our region, Easter eggs were made using the batik technique, very common in the East, which involved drawing designs with hot wax using a special funnel, and then colouring the unwaxed parts of the egg. Other techniques were the etching technique (coloring an egg, covering it partially with wax and then wiping the paint off the uncovered parts with cabbage or beet acid) and the technique of carving ornaments on previously colored eggs. The colours used to decorate Easter eggs were natural: young rye shoots (green), onion skins (red), oak bark (brown), elder fruit (blue), apple bark and fork seeds (yellow) and dark mallow petals (purple). Easter eggs were given to guests, godmothers gave them to their godchildren and girls gave them to the boys they were in love with.

The celebrations begin with Holy Mass at dawn, called the Resurrection. Then everyone goes home to eat Easter breakfast with their families. It is traditionally started by the host or hostess sharing a holy egg and making wishes. The traditional meal at breakfast is white borscht, eaten with the food consecrated the day before (cold meats, eggs, bread, cheese, salt, pepper, horseradish). During this holiday the ban on doing any work is observed (to some extent to this day). The meals are eaten the day before and clothes are not ironed. It used to be forbidden to comb your hair, wash yourself, make your bed or wash your dishes. However, you were not allowed to take a nap during the day. This was scrupulously guarded by the hosts, as such a nap boded ill for them to put out the grain or for the garden to become overgrown with weeds1.

The second day of the holiday is called ” Lany Poniedziałek”, also known as Śmingus-Dyngus. To this day we still douse each other with water. This custom used to be practiced mainly by young people, who poured water over each other from buckets or buckets made from elderberries. Sometimes young girls were thrown into rivers or ponds. For a girl, this was a distinction – a sign that boys were interested in her, so girls would often return the favour with gifts of Easter eggs. Among the nobility it was customary to sprinkle girls with perfume on this day. Easter Monday also marked the beginning of spring carol singing. Groups of young boys would go from house to house wishing their hosts and especially their brides. Unfortunately this custom has not survived to the present day.

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