Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore
“A richly detailed and well-informed month-by month accounting of all the major Polish customs and traditions practiced over the centuries. Ms. Knab stirs and reawakens our ancestral memory.”
―The Kosciuszko Foundation Newsletter
This unique, well-researched reference is arranged by month, showing the various occasions, feasts and holidays prominent in Polish culture―beginning with December it continues through Holy Week Customs, superstitions, beliefs and rituals associated with farming, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, midsummer, harvest festival, wedding rites, Name Days, birth and death. Line illustrations throughout enrich this varied treasury of Polish folklore and the revised edition includes a chapter on “Traditional Polish Games and Pastimes for Children.”
Many of the customs and traditions found herein are extinct even in today's Poland. World wars, massive immigration, the loss of the oral tradition, urbanization and politics have changed the face of a once agrarian people and their accompanying lifestyle.
Although the purpose and meaning may have been lost and forgotten, the oczepiny ceremony (the unveiling) is still the mainstay of almost every wedding where the bride declares Polish heritage. Many Polish American communities still reenact the harvest celebrations, reminding themselves of their ancestors' reverence for the grains and gifts of bread. Over nine million Americans still claim their ancestry as Polish, many still diligently practicing that which they learned at their parents' and grandparents' knees. This invaluable resource is perfect for Polish Americans, Polish Catholics, family historians, and those seeking to learn more about their Slavic roots.