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EASTER CUSTOM

ON HOLY SATURDAY, SLOVAK PEOPLE GATHER AT THEIR CHURCH TO HAVE THEIR
EASTER BASKETS BLESSED BY THE PARISH PRIEST. THE BASKETS CONTAIN
DYED EASTER EGGS, HAM, KIELBASA, BUTTER--USUALLY MOLDED IN THE FORM
OF A LAMB SIGNIFYING CHRIST, HOME-BAKED BREAD, SOME CANDY AND
"HRUTKA", AN EGG AND MILK CONCOCTION FORMED LIKE A HUGE PIECE OF
CHEESE. A PREVIOUSLY BLESSED CANDLE IS LIGHTED AND PROPPED UP IN THE
BASKET. IT IS A QUICK CEREMONY IN WHICH THE PRIEST RECITES
TRADITIONAL PRAYERS AND WALKS AMONG THE BASKETS, SPRINKLING HOLY
WATER, ( AND THEN ) THE PEOPLE RETURN HOME WITH THEIR BLESSED FOOD.
IF ANY OF IT IS NOT EATEN, IT CANNOT BE THROWN TO THE GARBAGE BUT
MUST BE BURNED BECAUSE IT IS SPECIAL--IT HAS BEEN BLESSED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; SWIECZONKA ; SYMBOL ; WATER

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 03-22-1970

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