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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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When I was a child our family used to prepare for the
Easter holy days with six weeks of sincere fasting
and denying ourselves simple pleasures. When Easter
Sunday arrived we celebrated the Resurrection of
Christ with an abundance of food. On the Saturday
afternoon before this holy day we took our baskets of
food to the church and had them blessed by the priest.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Lent

James Callow Keyword(s): Holy Saturday

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Holy Saturday

Date learned: 00001930S

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EASTER BASKET BLESSING IS A POLISH TRADITION. ON HOLY
SATURDAY, A BASKET IS LOADED WITH TRADITIONAL ITEMS. DECORATED
EGGS, BUTTER LAMBS, HAM, BREAD, HORSERADISH, KIELBASA, POTATOES,
CANDY, AND WINE ARE CARRIED IN A COVERED BASKET TO THE CHURCH FOR
THE AFTERNOON BLESSING. THE BASKETS ARE LINED UP NEXT TO THE
PEWS. EACH CONTAINER WITHIN THE BASKET IS OPENED. THE BASKETS
ARE BLESSED WITH PRAYERS, INCENSE, AND HOLY WATER. SOME OF THE
FOOD IS USED FOR EASTER BREAKFAST. ALL OF THE BLESSED FOOD MUST
EVENTUALLY BE EATEN. IT MUST NOT BE THROWN AWAY OR WASTED.

Submitter comment: THIS BLESSING IS STILL PERFORMED AT OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE
CHURCH IN HARPER WOODS, MICHIGAN. MY GRANDMA AND DAD ATTEND
ANNUALLY. I, TOO, SOMETIMES ATTEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Holy Saturday
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 00001920'S

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On Good Saturday a Greek family would go to church around 10 PM,
leaving the grandmothers at home. At 12 AM Jesus is symbolically
resurrected from the dead. The people leave church and go home around
1 AM. Meanwhile, the grandmothers were at work preparing a soup known
as "Mayiritza" which contains pieces of lamb, vegetables, eggs, and
lemon in a sheep broth. The family comes home and all eat the soup
and talk. Then red eggs are distributed and cracked while the people
say "Hristos anesti, alithos anesti", which means "Christ is risen,
truly risen."

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Holy Saturday
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid

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Easter Basket

One custom within the Polish community is to create Easter
baskets including colored eggs, bread, butter (shaped like a lamb),
kielbasa and other food products and take it to church to be
blessed on Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter baskets
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Holy Saturday
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

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