Easter kroszonki, batik Easter eggs, krzyżoki, or Easter turks are just a few of over 57 rituals and traditions that have been put on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The customs, practices, and values are cultivated in Polish families by dozens of generations. Thanks to the list kept by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the National Heritage Board of Poland, they have been saved from oblivion.
1. Kroszonki in Opole – the decoration of eggs which consists of painting an egg with one colour and then using the technique called printmaking (scratching). Kroszonki are decorated with traditional plant ornaments, such as palm trees, flowers, and leaves. Those patterns are also often found in embroidered tablecloths, curtains, decorative bedding (rugs), costumes, and folk paintings.
2. Krzyżoki in Borki Małe – the tradition of building an Easter gate from several thousand eggshells during the Great Lent, hanging it in the centre of the village at night on Holy Saturday, and walking around the fields before sunrise on Easter Sunday by twelve bachelors. The custom is cultivated only in the village of Borki Małe (Olesno commune, Opolskie Voivodeship).
3. Batik Easter Eggs – the eggs are decorated with the batik (wax) technique. Beeswax must be melted and then patterns are drawn on the egg with a pin or a tiny funnel with hot wax. When the pattern is made, the egg is dipped in the dye and the excess wax is wiped off. This treatment could be repeated many times until the desired effect is achieved. You have to remember to start dyeing from the lightest colour.
4. Traditional Blessing of the Easter Food Baskets in Dąbrowa Chotomowska – the Food Baskets are blessed in the private houses where the inhabitants bring their food. Until 1981, this ceremony was held by one housewife each year. Then, it was given over to another resident, where it is held to this day. This domestic tradition is cultivated only by the villagers (including both young and old people) – the new residents bring food to the church.
5. Turki Grodziskie – the Mortuary Guards Parade with a very old tradition. It comes from the times of the war expedition of King Jan III Sobieski to Vienna in 1683. A large group of Grodzisk residents took part in the relief of Vienna and because of their uniforms, they were mistaken for Turks on their way home. They went to church to thank God for a happy return and this event took place during Easter Holiday. Since then, every year young people in ‘Turkish’ costumes guard the Christ’s Tomb during these holidays.
6. Bziuki – the Easter custom of fire blowing during the resurrection on Holy Saturday, cultivated in Koprzywnica. Firemen from the local Volunteer Fire Department take part in the 3 loops procession around the local church. Four or more men walk in front of the priest and carry the Blessed Sacrament and torches. Then, they use a little bit of the kerosene which they held in their mouths before and create the balls and columns of fire. The origin of this custom is unknown, but it is known that it dates back at least 100 years.