Archive for 'traditions'

Leap year traditions in Poland

Posted on 28. Feb, 2016 by in Calendar, Countries, Culture, traditions

It is almost here! Tomorrow is February 29th! My friend from Poland, Agnieszka, celebrates her birthday tomorrow! What a great way to stay young:) Let’s see…if she would really celebrate her birthday every 4 years, she would be only 9 today!!! Happy Birthday Agnieszka!

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since Leap Years were first introduced by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago.


So what are the customs/traditions for this special day?

Well, I guess the most known one is when Women Propose to Their Men! (kobiety oświadczają się mężczyznom)

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

But I guess every country is different…

In Greece, getting married in a leap year is considered inauspicious, and the relationship is thought likely to end in divorce.

Women in Finland are advised to propose only on leap-year day – Feb. 29 – for good luck. If her boyfriend should refuse, he is required to pay her a “fine”: enough fabric to make a skirt.

In Scotland, an unmarried Queen Margaret allegedly enacted a law in 1288 allowing women to propose on leap-year day. But there was a catch: The proposer had to wear a red petticoat (a skirt under her skirt) to warn her intended that she planned to pop the question.

Perhaps the most well-known of the leap-year marriage superstitions belongs to Ireland, where, again, women are advised to propose only on Feb. 29 for good luck. (Anyone remember the 2010 film, “Leap Year”?)

Another custom, Gloves Hide Naked Ring Finger (Rękawice ukrywają nagi palec serdeczny)

In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

Leap Day Babies World Record

People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are Leap Day World Record Holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 and of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.

How do “leaplings”, people born on Leap Day, celebrate their birthdays? Leap day on February 29 occurs nearly every four years, but leap day babies, or leaplings, still get to celebrate their birthdays in common years. Some celebrate on February 28, some prefer March 1. However, many countries have laws defining which date a person born on February 29 comes of age in legal terms. For instance in New Zealand, the official birthday falls on February 28 in common years; in other countries like the United Kingdom, leap year babies have to wait until March 1.

Celebrity Leap Day Birthdays

1468 – Pope Paul III (d. 1549)
1792 – Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer (William Tell, The Barber of Seville) (d. 1868)
1896 – Morarji Desai, former Indian prime minister (d. 1995)
1968 – Wendi Louise Peters, English television and theatre character actress
1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer (d. 1994)
1924 – Al Rosen, American baseball player
1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, former president of El Salvador
1960 – Anthony (Tony) Robbins, American motivational speaker
1964 – Lyndon Byers, Canadian hockey player
1972 – Saul Stacey Williams, American singer, musician, poet, writer, and actor
1972 – Antonio Sabàto Jr, Italian-born actor
1976 – Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins), American rapper and actor
1980 – Chris Conley, American musician and songwriter/composer

Unlucky in Love

In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day, just as Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. Greeks consider it unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, and especially on Leap Day (like I mentioned before).

St Oswald’s Day

Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 duringcommon years.

Let’s have some gołąbki!

Posted on 25. Nov, 2014 by in cooking, Culture, traditions

I’m not a big cook…but I really enjoy cooking traditional Polish meals! I always kept telling my dad that my future husband will cook for me! He used to say: “You will never find a husband who will cook for you all the time!”

Well..I did…Although I really enjoy making traditional Polish meals! And my husband enjoys these nights when we have Polish dinners! One of his favorites are gołąbki! Gołąbki definitely remind me a lot about was always my favorite dish! The history of traditional Polish stuffed cabbage begins in the nineteenth century. It comes from Eastern borderlands, from the vicinity of Tarnopol. Pigeons/Stuffed cabbage (gołąbki) were initially prepared as a Christmas dish with buckwheat and potatoes. Recipes passed from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation has evolved into a well-known forms – wrapped in cabbage minced meat with rice.

So today I would love to share my favorite recipe! It is almost like my mother used to make it…but I made few changes to make it my own:)


  • 1 główka kapusty
  • 1 szklanka ryżu
  • 1 funt mielonego mięsa wieprzowego
  • 1 funt mielonego mięsa wołowego
  • 1 puszka koncentratu pomidorowego (0.5 uncji)
  • 1 cebula
  • 3 liście laurowe
  • 2 łyżeczki vegety
  • 1 łyżeczka pieprzu
  • 1 łyżeczka soli
  • Sos
  • 2 łyżki mąki
  • 1 puszka koncentratu pomidorowego
  • 3 łyżki śmietany

Z kapusty wytnij głąb. W dużym garnku zagotuj osoloną wodę i włóż do niej główkę kapusty. Gotuj przez 10-15 minut. Wyjmij z wody i delikatnie oddziel liść po liściu. Odłóż je na bok (nie wylewaj wody w której kapusta się gotowała).

W międzyczasie ugotuj ryż (ugotuj na pół twardo, reszta ryżu dogotuje się w gołąbkach). Pokrój cebulę w kostkę i przysmaż na maśle.

W misce wymięszaj mięso mielone (wołowinę i wieprzowinę), koncentrat pomidorowy, ryż, sól, pieprz, vegetę , przysmażoną cebulę.

Z masy uformuj kulki (wielkość w zależności od wielkości liści) i zawijaj je w liście kapusty. Ułóż gołąbki w garnku. Teraz wodę pozostałą po gotowaniu kapusty użyj  do zalania gołąbków. Ja przeważnie do tej wody dodaję sól, pieprz i odrobię koncentratu pomidorowego, oraz liście laurowe. Upewnij się że woda zakrywa wszystkie gołąbki. Gotuj na wolnym ogniu przez godzinę.

W międzyczasie zrób sos: mąkę rozmieszaj z obrobiną wody. Dodaj koncentrat pomidorowy i śmietanę, wymieszaj na jednolity sos na gorącej patelni.

Gołąbki podawaj z gotowanymi ziemniakami.




1 cabbage
1 cup of rice
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 can tomato paste (0.5 oz)
1 onion
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of Vegeta (Polish spice of mixed vegetables – can be replaced with any vegetable mix spice)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour
1 can of tomato paste
3 tablespoons sour cream

Cut the core of the cabbage out. In a large pot boil salted water and add the cabbage to it. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the water and gently separate leaf by leaf. Put them aside (do not pour out the water in which the cabbage is cooked).

Meanwhile, cook rice (cook half way through, rice will get fully cooked inside the cabbage rolls). Chop the onions and saute them on the butter.

In a bowl, mix the ground meat (beef and pork), tomato paste, rice, salt, pepper, Vegeta, sauteed onions.

Make meat balls (size depending on the size of the leaves) and wrap them in a cabbage leafs. Place them in a large pot. Now use the remaining water after cooking cabbage to pour over gołąbki. I usually add salt, pepper, a little bit of tomato paste, and bay leaves. Make sure the water covers all the gołąbki. Simmer for an hour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: mix the flour with a little bit of water. Add tomato paste and cream and mix to a sauce in a hot pan.

Stuffed cabbage serve with boiled potatoes. Pour sauce over it.

Have a great meal!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Polska flaga

Posted on 16. Nov, 2014 by in Countries, traditions

The official Polish flag for general use consists simply of two horizontal fields of equal size, with the top one white and the bottom one red. The flag that features Poland’s white eagle set against a red shield on the white field is known as a “bandera” (ship’s flag or ensign). According to Polish flag tradition, it is meant to be flown by Polish ships at sea and by Polish diplomatic missions and other official institutions abroad.

Image by Szift on

Image by Szift on

Many Polish Americans, however, consider the eagle flag more distinctive and prefer it to fly from flag posts or display it at various functions.The colors of red (amaranth) and white began appearing on banners and flags in the 17th century, although they were still not the official national colors. The SEJM (assembly) introduced Polish national colors in 1831, but they were officially recognized as state colors until Poland regained her independence in 1919, when the white and red flag was first flown. Polish institutions and offices abroad and airports, harbors and merchant vessels fly the flag with the national emblem.

Image by roovuu on

Image by roovuu on

Poland’s official crest is a white eagle (biały orzeł), its head poised to the right, and set against a red shield. The eagle first appeared on coins minted in the 12th century and subsequently on the heraldic seals of the Piast dynasty. Toward the end of the 13th century, during the reign of Przemysław II, the Polish eagle was depicted with a crown (korona) .Over the years, the Polish Eagle became a symbol recognized throughout the world. It is seen on flags, in Polish publications, on Polish American specialty items, and products imported from Poland.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)