Holidays at the Gades tend to be a little different than in most American homes. Having a blended Polish-Mexican-American family means following traditions from three separate cultures. It’s very important for us to teach Baby C our cultures. So, here’s what the Gades do for Easter!
In the Mexican tradition, Palm Sunday is extremely important. Everyone attends church services, and brings home the beautiful palms. If you have ever seen them, you’ll fall in love with what they can braid those palms into! My husband always proudly showcases his skills of making crosses – they are his specialty.
In the Polish tradition, Holy Saturday is a special day. While keeping a strict fasting diet all day, we go to church for a food blessing. We prepare intricately decorated food baskets that usually include eggs, kielbasa/ham, horseradish relish, salt, and bread. Our church prepared a hand-out this year about this tradition. Part of it reads:
Growing up, my family never used wine and we still don’t drink it at the Gades home, so I never bring any to get it blesses. The custom says that you can’t throw away anything that’s blessed. I made the crochet doilies a few years ago and continue to use them yearly. We eat all the blessed foods for Easter breakfast. Along with a nice root salad.
In the American tradition, you have to have an Easter dinner, with ham and potatoes. So, that’s exactly what we do with our American Mom (a dearest friend who fulfills the role of a Mom and Nana here for us). This year she has outdone herself preparing a delicious meal of ham, decadent scalloped potatoes, carrots, and asparagus! And yes, the leftovers tasted just as good as the dinner itself.
We also prepared a little Easter egg hunt for Baby C. She enjoyed it thoroughly until she found a bubbles bottle and a baby doll. Then, all she wanted to do it blow bubbles while cuddling her new baby :). We had to collect the rest of the eggs ourselves :). In our two other cultures, there’s no presents for Easter. It’s more about the religion and the resurrection of Christ. We never even had a bunny associated with Easter until the “western culture” came over in the 90’s. The symbol for Easter has always been the lamb.
In Poland, Monday is also a national holiday day. It’s the “Wet Monday” or, as we call it, the “Smigus Dyngus”. It’s a day when all the young eligible bachelors would dump onto all the maidens buckets of water. This transformed into today’s everyone getting wet – maiden or not. If you decide to get out of the house that day, be prepared to get wet. I remember my grandma who would always get up early in the morning, grab some water, and wake us up by wetting our feet and faces! Lol. I sort of miss this tradition here. Especially since we don’t even get the day off! It’s business as usual.
I enjoy Easter. There’s no long preparations, as there are with Christmas. It’s sort of a peaceful and relaxing holiday to have. And an important religious event to celebrate!