Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Traditions


Much like Christmas, Easter is packed full of traditions for my family.  Many of them have roots in our Polish heritage.

Each year, we gather together for Easter brunch, a tradition that started with my grandmother.

Our menu includes traditional Easter ham, sweet potatoes, potato salad, kielbasa, and my personal favorite, pickled eggs and beets.

But the star of the show, for sure, is beet borscht.  Polacks eat their borscht a little differently than Russians; we eat ours warm, with eggs, cheese, ham, and kielbasa in it.  And of course, you have to have some horseradish in there too!  To those who have never had it, this sounds like an odd concoction, but to those of us raised on it, this is the best holiday food you could imagine.  All of us, my siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles, we all LOVE this soup.  (I was so excited for it I forgot to take a picture of it before digging in!).

But, before we can even sit down to the meal, we have another tradition.  We take a hard boiled egg, and divide it into the same number of sections as there are people at the meal.  Each person takes a portion of the egg and eats it, symbolizing new life in Christ.  Then we each take a taste of honey and horseradish, to symbolize the sweet and bitter that Christ suffered in his crucifixion and resurrection.  We never, ever forget the meaning of this holiday.

After dinner, we all rest and visit, and eventually make our way around to dessert. Then, we have an egg hunt. Each year my sister puts a new, creative twist on the egg hunt. Since the weather was bad this year, the egg hunt was inside my sister's house. We stayed at my parents while she hid the eggs, then the kids went across the street to their house so the hunt could begin.


Then we always spend the rest of the day visiting, cleaning up, and dividing the leftovers.

We had a wonderful day yesterday, and I hope you all did as well!