The Blessing of the Easter Basket »

When I was growing up, our holiday celebrations were firmly grounded in Polish traditions. Hopefully this year, I will have the opportunity to write more about a traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal, Wigilia.  But for now, my thoughts turn to spring and Easter. 

For Poles, the blessing of the Easter Basket, Swieconka, continues to be an enduring tradition. The blessing takes place on the Saturday before Easter, and the basket typically contains a sampling of traditional food: hard-boiled eggs, ham, sausage, salt, horseradish, fruits, bread and cake.  Just like the seder plate, each food in the Easter Basket has symbolic meaning.

 Eggs symbolize life and Christ's resurrection
 Bread symbolizes Jesus 
 Lamb represents Christ
 Salt represents purification 
 Horseradish symbolizes the bitter sacrifice of Christ
 Ham symbolizes great joy and abundance 

This is my (90 year old) Grandmother's version of the Easter Basket or what she commonly refers to as "blessed food".  The dogwood is from her garden on Eastern Long Island. Happy Easter everyone!