Polish Festival Celebrated Wedding Tr...

Polish Festival Celebrated Wedding Traditions, Teaching New Generations

There are 2 comments on the Patch.com story from Aug 19, 2013, titled Polish Festival Celebrated Wedding Traditions, Teaching New Generations. In it, Patch.com reports that:

The small boys and girls that participated in a re-enactment of a traditional Polish wedding on Saturday in Riverhead were far from Poland and light years away from the culture in which long-standing customs were born.

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Brewster, NY

#1 Aug 19, 2013
Polish Festival Celebrated Wedding Traditions, Teaching New Generations
A traditional Polish wedding was demonstrated on Saturday in Riverhead.

Posted by Lisa Finn (Editor), August 19, 2013 at 02:26 PM
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The small boys and girls that participated in a re-enactment of a traditional Polish wedding on Saturday in Riverhead were far from Poland and light years away from the culture in which long-standing customs were born.

But with the help of the Polish Town Civic Association, those children will be brought up to embrace tradition and keep the legacy alive.
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"Please keep the these traditions alive in your heart and pass them down to future generations, to keep our Polish heriage alive," Karen Fleischman, chairwoman of the PTCA said Saturday at the 39th Annual Polish Town Street Fair and Polka Festival.

Fleishman described a traditional wedding in Poland as a "wedding party" re-enacted the proceedings onstage.

First, she said, a couple is united in matrimony — on Saturday, the couple were "married" at St. Isidore's Church.

Next, the happy newlyweds walked through the village, accompanied by their wedding party, which consisted of a maid of honor, best man, ring bearer, flower girl, parents of the bride and groom, the godmothers, and six maidens, all wearing traditional costumes.

The costumes worn Saturday were from the Krakow region in Poland, and known as "krakoviak costumes," some of the most colorful in the country and known for intricate beadwork, done by women as a form of relaxation.

Colorful ribbons on the shoulders of the girls indicated how many suitors they had dated, Fleischman said.

The bride's headdress, she added, was made on the night before the wedding, as the maids gathered to help create the headpiece; usually, it was made of flowers, with ribbons and beads adorning the hat having been given to the bride from her godmother and mother. Colorful ribbons were pinned to the back of the headdress — in every color but red, which was avoided because it was thought that if the bride wore red, the couple would fight for the rest of their married lives.

Also mixed in the flowers were loyal grains and herbs.

As she left home for the church to be married, the bride was kissed and blessed by her parents with holy water; they then threw grains of wheat at her feet — so that she would be blessed and prosper throughout her long and successful life.

Heading to the church, the couple would be showered with oats and sprinkled in holy water.

During the wedding, the bride was expected to cry, and if she didn't, it was believed that she would cry throughout her entire marriage, Fleischman said.

After the wedding, the couple was met at home by both sets of parents, who would offer them a small piece of bread, sprinkled with salt, and a small glass of wine. The bread was a symbol, to wish that they would never go hungry, and the salt represented the bitterness in life and was seen as a healing element that would drive away evil. The wine symbolized the sweetness of life and wished the couple happiness and health.

Next, guests came to the bride's home for a wedding feast of chicken, peas, beet soup, sauerkraut, noodles and wedding bread, as well as for drinking and dancing. If the father of the bride could afford it, the celebration continued for another day.

Around dawn, tired guests who started to fall asleep were poked by the best man with his cane.

On Saturday, the bride and groom, portrayed by Joanna Kurzyna and Patrick Faron, demonstrated the Grand Polonaise, a traditional march that dates back to Polish royalty, as well as a traditional polka.

Another tradition of great importance focused on the placing of the married woman's cap on the bride's head.
Clear Dharma

Birkenhead, UK

#2 Aug 19, 2013
That's nice :-)

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