21th March is the first day of spring. Do you know how we celebrate it in Poland?
For sure more people prefer spring to winter. Finally days are longer, the weather is nicer and the nature awakens. Therefore this day (the 20th or the 21th of March) has been celebrated for ages.
In Poland this day is also called Truant’s Day. It means that students don’t go to school, they just skip their classes. However, it seems that this tradition is diminishing. The tradition of drowning a straw doll called Marzanna is still popular though, especially among pupils and pre-schoolers. Marzanna is dressed in old clothes, burned and thrown into a river. It symbolizes the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This tradition dates back to early Slavic times when pagan rituals were performed. It was noisily celebrated and required a lot of preparation. Nowadays, it just has a symbolic meaning.
In the old times, people were also painting eggs (which are a symbol of new life) because of the 1st day of spring. Also, they were pouring water on each other because it meant to be good for their health. Those traditions were taken over by Christians and in this way they have become Easter ones.
Author: Weronika Kisiel