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Barbara Rolek

Ash Wednesday in Poland

By March 5, 2014

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Most Poles are Roman Catholic, so on Ash Wednesday or Sroda Popielcowa, Mass is heard and ashes are received on the forehead from a priest who says, "Remember man, thou art dust and to dust thou shall return."
Pussy Willows in a Vase
Pussy Willows in a Vase
Nellie Vin on Flickr

Ash Wednesday is also the day when pussy willows -- bazie or kotki -- are cut and placed in a vase of water. Since palms are not available in Poland, these pussy willow twigs (along with long poles decorated with brightly colored paper flowers) will be used as palms to be blessed in church on Palm Sunday.

Today begins 40 days of Lent or Wielki Post, a time of fasting, confession, praying and reflection on the past year. Meat is not eaten on Fridays, and every person, even children, are required to "give up" something for Lent, which could be sweets, movies, television or some other pleasure.
Polish Potato Cutlet with Mushroom Sauce
Polish Potato Cutlet with Mushroom Sauce
Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

This Polish Potato Cutlet with Mushroom Sauce would be a great and filling meal today and on meatless Fridays. But, this recipe is in my repertoire year-round.

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