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THE WEDDING CELEBRATION IN POLAND IS A THREE-DAY AFFAIR.
1ST DAY--THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS BRAID WEDDING WREATHS
OF MYRTLE FOR THE BRIDE AND BRIDESMAIDS. THEY BAKE
BREAD, "BABKI" (COFFEE CAKES), KIELBASA (SAUSAGE) AND
PREPARE OTHER FOODS. IN THE EVENING, THE MUSICIANS
ARRIVE, AND THERE IS DANCING AND SINGING.
2ND DAY--IN THE MORNING, THE CARRIAGES ARE DECORATED
ALONG WITH THE HORSES. EVERYONE DRESSES IN THEIR
SUNDAY BEST. BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE CHURCH, THE BRIDE
ASKS HER PARENTS FOR THEIR BLESSING. AS SHE'S LEAVING
THE HOUSE, THE BAND (USUALLY CONSISTING OF TWO
VIOLINS, AN ACCORDIAN AND A DRUM) PLAYS A LIVELY WED-
DING MARCH. ALL THE WAY TO THE CHURCH THE BRIDE AND
GROOM ARE SERENADED, AND THEY EVEN JOIN IN SINGING
SOME OF THE FOLK BALLADS.
UPON RETURNING FROM CHURCH, THE FAMILY GREETS THE
NEWLYWEDS WITH BREAD AND SALT, SO THAT THEY MAY NEVER
LACK BREAD. THE BAND PLAYS "SERDECENA MATKO"--A
SENTIMENTAL RELIGIOUS SONG.
AFTER GRACE IS SAID, THE BEAT STARTS WITH THE SERVING
OF LARGE BOWLS OF "KAPUSTA" (SAUERKRAUT SOUP), COOKED
BUCKWHEAT, "FLACZKI" (TRIPE STEW), LARGE BAKED PIEROGI
MADE OF CHEESE AND POTATOES OR SAUERKRAUT, KIELBASA,
ETC., FOLLOWED BY FANCY PASTRY. IF THE BUCKWHEAT
SHOULD NOT BE PREPARED PROPERLY, THE BRIDESMAIDS SING
AS FOLLOWS:
POLISH: GOSPODYNIA NASZA, POTARGANA KASZA.
TYLKO SIE PORADCIE I KASZE NAM POMASCIE.
TRANSLATION: OUR DEAREST COOK, THE BUCKWHEAT ISN'T
RIGHT.
OUR ADVICE IS BUTTER IT UP NICE.
THE "UCZEPINY" OF UNVEILING TAKES PLACE AT AROUND
MIDNIGHT. WHILE THE BRIDE IS SEATED ON THE GROOM'S
LAP, THE BRIDESMAIDS REMOVE HER WREATH WHILE SINGING
"DWANASCIE ANIOLOW" (THE SONG OF TWELVE ANGELS) AND
REPLACE IT WITH A CAPULET. THIS SYMBOLIZES THAT SHE
IS NOW A MATRON.
THEN, THE BRIDESMAIDS TAKE THEIR TURNS WEARING THIS
WREATH, SO THEY TOO WOULD SOON BE MARRIED OFF (SORT
OF GOOD LUCK IN FINDING A HUSBAND).
BRIDE ASKS EVERYONE INDIVIDUALLY TO DANCE WITH HER, AND
AFTER THIS DANCE THE GUEST PLACES SOME MONEY IN A BOWL
ON THE TABLE AS A GIFT FOR HER. THE BRIDE BOWS AND
THANKS EACH ONE.
DANCING ALWAYS CONTINUES UNTIL THE EARLY MORNING.
IF THE BRIDE IS TO LIVE WITH THE GROOM'S FAMILY, SHE
TAKES HER ENTIRE TROUSSEAU, HOPE CHEST, ETC., ON THE
WAGON. LOUD CRYING COMMENCES WHEN SHE KISSES HER
PARENTS AND FAMILY BEFORE DEPARTURE.
HOWEVER, IF THE GROOM COMES TO LIVE WITH THE BRIDE'S
PARENTS, THE TRUCK WITH HIS BELONGINGS IS BROUGHT
TO THE HOUSE BY THE USHERS.
3RD DAY--TO THE "POPRAWINY" ARE INVITED ALL THE CLOSE
RELATIVES TO EAT UP THE LEFTOVERS AND SPEND MOST OF
THIS DAY JUST SITTING AND TALKING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Ceremony

Date learned: 02-07-1971

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