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The Polish Easter Basket - What’s inside the Święconka

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Easter Basket

Święconka (Shvjen-tzon-kah)– that’s the name given to the items blessed inside the Polish Easter basket. It is one of the most central and meaningful aspects of the Polish Easter tradition. On Easter Saturday, Poles go to churches and chapels with baskets filled to the brim with traditional Polish foods! The elements of the traditional Easter święconka are not random, however. They each hold an important, symbolic meaning that pertains to this important Catholic holiday, and although some items may vary based on region, there are a few key items that a Polish święconka is made of. 

If you’d like to build a traditional Polish Easter basket this year and/or would like to learn the meaning behind the items that ought to be placed inside of it, have a read below. 

BREAD -  It is a symbol of the life and body of Christ. It ensures prosperity and good luck. It is one of the MOST important elements of the święconka.

Easter bread

(Shop Easter Basket bread with Cross on Polana.com)

EGGS - We all recognize this often elaborately painted Polish Easter item!  Called “pisanki,” inside the Easter basket, the hand-painted Polish Easter eggs are a symbol of fertility, birth and resurrection.  Most often a Polish Easter basket is filled with the colorful Polish pisanki, but plain, hard-boiled eggs are sometimes used too. Whether elaborately decorated or not, eggs are an essential part of the Polish Easter basket.

Easter wooden eggs

(Shop Decorative Wooden Eggs on Polana.com)

LAMB - The Easter lamb is the centerpiece of any traditional Polish Easter basket. It symbolizes Jesus Christ and his self-sacrifice. It is usually decorated with the Resurrection Banner, a paper flag with a red cross on a white background that symbolizes Jesus’s victory over death. Typically, Easter lambs are made of sugar, bread or as a sweet cake.

Easter lamb

(Shop Easter Butter Lambs on Polana.com)

SALT - It serves as a symbol of purification and durability. It protects against deterioration. It is also believed to have the power to ward off evil. Salt should be in every basket.

HAM or SAUSAGE - It is a representation of health and prosperity. In the olden days, a rare and highly valuable item, it is still placed in any traditional basket today, and is especially responsible for the aromas that fill Polish churches on Holy Saturday.

Easter deli

(Shop Easter Basket Sausage on Polana.com)

HORSERADISH - a symbol of strength and vigor, it is supposed to provide health and energy. 

Horseradish

(Shop Horseradish on Polana.com)

EASTER CAKE - typically a bundt cake (babka) or mazurek. The cake is a symbol of excellence and life abilities.

Easter babka cake

(Shop small, medium and regular size Easter Babkas on Polana.com)

You can find many of these essential Polish Easter basket items and more on Polana’s Easter Favorites page! Shop and save with our Easter bundle packages which are filled with all these essential Easter basket items, as well as a few additional traditional Easter foods to enjoy at Easter brunch. 

Please remember, the final Easter order deadline this year is April 10th, 2022! 

Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!


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