Easter is the most important religious feast of the Christian year. The basket full of eggs is a recognizable symbol of this holiday. In many parts of the world, like Poland, children carry their baskets to church for a blessing by their priest. Here are some items traditionally found in a Polish Easter basket (koszyki) – all symbolizing something greater.
A traditional Polish Easter basket.
In rural Poland sizes does matter – the bigger your basket is, the wealthier you are.
It’s filled with:
A White Cloth. The cloth lines the basket and represents the shroud of Christ.
The Lamb. A lamb in the shape of butter, sugar or dough stands for the Paschal lamb – Jesus.
Bread. A round loaf topped with a cross or fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.
Eggs. Which are a symbol of new life and Christ’s resurrection.
Sausage. To represent God’s generosity. (We Poles take our sausage seriously!)
Horseradish. It symbolizes accepting the bitter with the sweet in life.
Salt. To remind us that we are the flavor of the earth.
Candle. Stands for Christ as our light.
Sprigs of Greenery. That are attached to the basket as a sign of new joy and new life.
and to top it all off…a fluffy little chickadee.
The basket is blessed by a priest and set aside for Easter morning. It’s passed around the breakfast table where each family member samples a little bit of everything. It’s hard to describe how scrumptious Easter breakfast is, in a Polish household – perhaps it’s the two days of fasting and the smell of sausage waiting in an Easter basket that adds to the excitement.