WWW, or what connects water, the countryside and Easter

wodę, wieś i Wielkanoc

Weather forecasts

Agriculture was and is dependent on access to water in sufficient quantity and quality.

The planning of cultivation activities relied on weather observations. Currently, data on hydrological and meteorological parameters are provided by measurement results, and forecasts in this regard are provided by forecasting models. The way of getting information has changed significantly, but weather is still a key determinant of a farmer’s success.

In times we know only from grandparents’ stories or history books, predictions were the result of years of observations passed from mouth to mouth or recorded in sayings, proverbs or beliefs. These accounts emphasize the natural changes in nature and the importance of the beginning of spring, which is a symbol of the new cycle of life, the period when sowing, or harvesting, should begin.

Customs in rural areas – traditions and folk wisdom

Our ancestors, by observing the weather, including at Easter, learned a lot about what to expect in the summer, what the weather might be like in a given year, and consequently, how to plan farm work during the coming year.

Noted and repeated over the years, the consequences of certain weather events occurring during Easter were recorded in sayings, proverbs and folk wisdom. They were usually contained in a few, easy-to-remember words. And so it was known to the villagers that:

  • Dry fasting – a good year.
  • When in Lent dew, then sow a lot of millet to the host, and if on Good Friday frost, then put millet on top.
  • On Good Friday, the rain of crop failure bard.
  • On Good Friday, when the rain generously pours down the valleys, that much milk will be there are some hopes.
  • He who sows on Good Friday laughs at the harvest.
  • Rain on Good Friday will push every corner.
  • When Good Friday gloomy, Easter will be without clouds.
  • On the days of the Cross Passion of God, abstain from sowing grain.
  • When wet on Easter Sunday, the year goes dry.

Good Friday

According to folk accounts, it was of great importance whether there would be a big frost on Good Friday, whether the sun would shine or whether heavy rain would fall. Watching the weather, predictions were made about the results of work in the fields for the next year. Before sunrise, villagers would wash themselves in a bowl of water into which coins were thrown. This was to ensure wealth for the next twelve months.

Holy Saturday

On Holy Saturday, the consecration of food , water and fire took place. The then-candled water was used throughout the year to bless people, animals and homes. It was supposed to protect against misfortune and evil spirits. Houses were sprayed to make the year peaceful.

Easter Sunday

What was done on Easter Sunday was to be reflected in daily life throughout the following year. On that day, sweeping was not allowed so that the chickens would not rake the garden beds. They also could not be called out loud to avoid laying eggs at their neighbors. An interesting belief was the one about drinking water. Its consumption was supposed to guarantee a persistently tiresome thirst for months to come.

Holy Monday

On Easter Monday, also known in various regions of the country as Lazy Monday, dyngus, śmigus dyngus, śminguems, śmigus, shmigus, the custom of pouring water on each other was practiced. The tradition is linked to pagan practices and symbolizes the cleansing of winter dirt and the awakening of nature in the spring.

In the past, śmigus and dyngus were separate customs.

Midsummer meant hitting, for example, with a birch or willow rod on the legs. On Easter Monday, girls were smeared on their calves with vittles and doused with cold water. It had to do with spring cleaning. In Slavic beliefs, water was the life-giving element. Dousing with water in paganism symbolized the transfer of vitality, health, beauty, fertility. Most often, unmarried maidens were doused, a sign of their good luck. On warm days, especially in the villages, girls were even doused with buckets filled to the brim with water, or even thrown into the river.

In some regions of Poland, water was doused to keep the summer dry. There were also regions where the pouring of water continued even until Guiding Sunday. For dousing with water during this period, girls thanked boys by gifting them with Easter eggs.

Dyngus was another way of redeeming oneself from being doused with water such as an Easter egg, food from the holiday table, candy or money.

In some parts of the country on Easter Monday, farmers would lead their horses into the river so that they would grow healthy throughout the year. Another custom was to walk around the village with a rooster – a symbol of vitality and fertility.

On this day, in some regions of the country, fields were sacred. Hosts would set out in procession and bless them with palms dipped in water. Then crosses were made from palm trees and driven into the ground to ensure prosperity. This was a fairly common custom, but was not always associated with Good Monday. Sometimes fields were not ordained until Guidance Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter.

Easter is a time when folk traditions, religious rituals and the environment around us become intertwined.

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