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    Untraditional blessing of traditional Polish baskets

    Even though the coronavirus pandemic has forced Poles to stay at home during this most important Christian holiday, that of Christ’s resurrection, it hasn’t stopped them from celebrating. Since only five people at a time are allowed to attend Holy Mass, Polish priests have had to come up with imaginative ways to bless the traditional Easter baskets. Despite the difficult situation the world is facing today, this year’s Easter was even more special for Catholics, who are not losing their faith in the face of adversity.

    Every year at Easter, Poles gather at churches on Sunday morning to have their traditional baskets blessed. The baskets are filled with food with symbolic religious meaning , e.g. eggs which symbolise Christ’s resurrection and the miracle of life. In the baskets, Polish families also put bread, sausage, salt, pepper and some decorative elements. There is always an unofficial contest for who has the prettiest basket – all in a good spirit and a joyful, Easter atmosphere. This year, however, as it is impossible to attend a Holy Mass, many parishes encouraged their faithful to bless the baskets on their own, preferably by the head of the family, using holy water in bottles which many Catholics have at their homes for just such occasions. In some parishes, priests blessed the baskets from… moving cars. That way everyone was able to maintain the proper distance and still have their food blessed. Many Polish families ate the traditional Easter breakfast with their relatives via videoconference. With the help of modern technology, Poles refused to despair in these troubling times and many people took to social media to express their positive attitude and to wish their friends happy Easter. This special holiday does seem like a breath of fresh air for the country which has been under quarantine and in isolation for more than a month now. We may be isolated, but we are still united, and today we stand united in the celebration of Christ’s victory over death.

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