Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strict prohibitions on public gatherings put in place by the government, Easter festivities in Poland this year have taken on a very different complexion. These restrictions wisely extend to the Catholic Church, which is an important meeting place for Poles throughout the Holy Week. The usual church blessings of traditional Easter palms and food baskets will be difficult (not to mention inadvisable) with a limit of 5 people allowed inside churches at any given time. Annual Easter markets have been cancelled, and the government has also asked citizens to not get together with extended family to celebrate the traditional Easter Sunday breakfast this year. Although the abandonment of these cherished Easter traditions will be difficult for families, we hope that everyone will follow these regulations which are in place for our own collective safety.
Unfortunately, this means that many seniors, the most vulnerable demographic during the present epidemic, will be forced to celebrate the holiday alone. Not only is Easter an important time for Poles to spend with family, but the food itself carries great symbolic significance. In the current circumstances, both purchasing food products and preparing the traditional Easter dishes, let alone having them blessed by a priest, will be difficult for many, if not impossible. Yet, at anxious times like these, every small gesture towards the semblance of ‘normalcy’ offers a necessary comfort. And with Poles, comfort often begins with food and hospitality. The gastronomy industry knows this well and many restaurants are putting their energy into helping people find that sense of normalcy and comfort during these abnormal times, by offering traditional Easter dishes to order, and even traditional Easter baskets blessed by a priest. Hallelujah!
As this is a Catholic holiday, let’s not forget the virtue of charity. Since initial restrictions on gastronomy three weeks ago, restaurants in PL have been finding creative ways to not only stay open, but also help their local communities in many cases. A group of Warsaw restaurants – namely Czerwony Wieprz, Folk Gospoda and Elixir – initiated the campaign #ZamawiamPomagam (I’m ordering, I’m helping), which donates meals to medical staff. In the lead-up to Easter Sunday, the campaign has expanded under the hashtags #zamowswieconke and #swieconkadlaseniora to creating traditional Easter baskets, blessed by a priest, which can be ordered and picked up or delivered to the person of your choosing. To order yourself, a loved one or stranger in need such a basket call (+48) 735 003 007 or write to the address firstname.lastname@example.org. Be advised that all orders must be received by April 7. More info here.
The following restaurants are all offering special menus of traditional Easter food for takeaway and delivery during the holiday. More information about individual offers can be found by following the links and we recommend you order as soon as possible. Smacznego and Happy Easter!