Kwiecień, plecień, bo przeplata, trochę zimy, trochę lata…

Posted on 10. Apr, 2012 by in Calendar, Countries, History, Nature, Phrases, Polish Language, Rhymes, Vocabulary

Today’s blog is about April. April (kwiecień)  was the second month in an early Roman calendar, but became the fourth when the ancient Romans started using January as the first month. The Romans called the month Aprilis. It may come from a word meanting ‘to open’, or it may come from Aphrodite, the Greek name for the goddess of love. In Polish kwiecień seems to come from  “kwitnąć” (to blossom), since everything is blossoming.

Small animals that hibernate are usually coming out of their burrows in April. The birds fly back northward or they settle down to have their families. The bees and butterflies begin to gather nectar from the first flowers of the season.

In some parts of the world, it’s planting time. In other parts, it’s the harvest season. Professional baseball begins in April. Then the amateur athletes begin to go outside in the warm weather. Spring cleaning starts and people start mowing their yards again.

Here are some popular Polish sayings about April:

Kiedy w kwietniu słonko grzeje, wtedy chłop nie zubożeje. (When the sun is warm in April, the peasant will not get poor)

Czasem kwietnia pora letnia, człeka zwiedzie, w zimę zjedzie. (Sometimes the summer season in April, a man deceived, the winter will see)

Gdyby w kwietniu nie padało, to owoców będzie mało. (If it did not rain in April, there will be not too many fruit)

Ciepły kwiecień, mokry maj, będzie żytko jako gaj. (Warm April, wet May will make rye grow beautiful – it is almost like “April showers bring May flowers”)

Kwiecień, plecień, bo przeplata, trochę zimy, trochę lata,

pół wiosenny, pół zimowy, nie każdemu bywa zdrowy,

to zaświeci błyskawicą, to zasypie twarz śnieżycą.

(April  intertwines, some winter, some summer,

half spring, half winter, it does not bring health to everyone,

sometimes lightning flashes, sometimes snow blizzard is in your face)

Choć i w kwietniu słonko grzeje, nieraz pole śnieg zawieje. (While the sun is warm in April, sometimes blows snow on the field.)

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

How are you feeling after holidays?

Posted on 09. Apr, 2012 by in Arts, Calendar, cooking, Countries, Culture, Current News, Holidays, Religion

Easter is over. It was fun, but now we can all relax…All that wonderful food! I love it, I always eat way too much!

So we talked about Palm Sunday traditions as well as Easter eggs in Poland.

Święconka is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions. On Holly Saturday people take to churches decorated baskets containing a sampling of traditional food to be blessed: hard-boiled shelled eggs, ham, sausage, salt, horseradish, fruits, bread and cake. Prominently displayed among these is the Easter lamb, usually molded from butter or sugar and colorful pisanki. The food have a symbolic meaning, for example:

* eggs (jajka) – symbolize life and Christ’s resurrection,

* bread (chleb) – symbolic of Jesus,

* lamb (baranek, also means jagnięcina) – represents Christ,

* salt (sól) – represents purification,

* horseradish (chrzan) – symbolic of the bitter sacrifice of Christ,

* ham (szynka) – symbolic of great joy and abundance.

Where I grew up, we used to bring baskets to my grandparents house (our closest neighbors would do the same thing) and that was where priest would stop by to bless the food. I think the reason for that was that we lived pretty far away from the church.

The food blessed in the church (or at home) remains untouched until Sunday morning.

On Easter morning (Sunday), a special Resurrection Mass is celebrated in every church in Poland. At this Mass, a procession of priests, altar boys and the people circles the church three times while the church bells peal and the organ is played for the first time since they had been silenced on Good Friday. Following the Mass, people return home to eat the food blessed the day before.

The Easter table is covered with a white tablecloth. The white tablecloth is indicative of the white swaddling cloth with which Our Lord was wrapped when he was placed in the Holy Sepulcher. On the middle of the table in most homes people will put colored eggs, cold meats, coils of sausages, ham, yeast cakes, pound cakes, poppy-seed cakes, and a lamb made of sugar. Polish Easter Soup called Żurek or Biały Barszcz is often served at the Easter meal, garnished with the hard-boiled eggs and sausage. There is also tradition to share blessed eggs with the members of the family and wish each other good health, happiness for the rest of the year. In my house except of trying eggs, each one of us had to try a little piece of horseradish root.

During this time the Polish homes are with its spirit of joy and good-will at a laden Easter Table, with its sugar Lamb (cukrowy baranek) and its blessed multi-colored eggs.

Monday (just after Easter) is a holiday in Poland and is called in polish “Lany Poniedziałek” or “Śmigus- Dyngus”. This is a wonderful day of fun.

The ancient Polish tradition on Easter Monday, is celebrated by everyone with enthusiasm by sprinkling each other with water. Especially kids have fun this day. Some people say that by being splashed with water on Easter Monday will bring you good luck throughout the year.

And how did you spend your Easter?

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Training just in case of emergency!

Posted on 06. Apr, 2012 by in Culture, Current News, Games, Investments, Sports

The National Stadium in Warsaw witnessed bizarre scenes last Wednesday as emergency services were drafted in to help deal with 120 “injured” football fans in preparation for the upcoming Euro 2012 championships.

The staged event, in which the most “seriously injured victims” were treated and rushed to hospital in ambulances, was to help emergency workers prepare for a number of worst case scenarios ahead of the tournament in June.

“The coordination shown was exemplary. These exercises are carried out every three years and we will have the summary next week,” said mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz at a conference afterwards.

But despite the success of the event, there were a few minutes when it was not possible to get through to the emergency 112 number, reports TVN.

“It is not us who are in charge of this number, it is a nationwide issue,” stated Ms Gronkiewicz-Waltz, adding that she hoped the Interior Minister would improve its functioning.

Director of the Municipal Bureau of Security and Crisis Management, Ewa Gawor, claims that the matter is now being looked into.

“The problem will be analysed. We have been assured by the police that during the Euros, there will be additional phone operators employed to deal with calls.”

I’m actually going to be in Poland in June…I did not pick dates because of the Euro 2012 though…We will see how everything is going to turn out in terms of security :)

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)