It is the fifth day of Holy Week, preceded by Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday) and followed by Good Friday. Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, commemorating the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; this period includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday and ends on the evening of Easter.
On Maundy Thursday, the bells in the church were silent. The most popular Maundy Thursday custom in Poland was walking with clacks (called klekotki), staves, or rattlesnakes.
Klekotki, which are made of wood, have long been used by the church instead of bells as a sign of mourning after Judas betrayed Christ after the Last Supper. In Poland, you can meet with different types of clacks. In Silesia, hammers are the most common, in other areas there are also rotating. Only boys – altar boys walked with clacks around the church, and often also around the village.
Using clickets, the young made an ineffable noise. The village and the church celebrated three times: morning, noon and evening. It was a real escape and attraction. The sound of knocks reminded the faithful of their duty to go to church. The bells started normally ringing only on Easter Saturday evening. Using noise-making clickers was also a magical procedure, thus having a different, non-religious meaning. It was believed that loud sounds scare away and flash evil powers out of the village, which reigns with special force before Easter. Today, the habit of walking with klekotki is practised only in a few Racibor and Opole villages, but it functioned widely in Silesia until the middle of the 20th century.
Holy Thursday is in the Church a remembrance of Christ’s establishment of Holy Communion (Supper).
The custom also required shaking the previously peeled trees in the orchards to ensure abundant yields.