Navigate / search

Festive Foodways Events

Arts Council features Polish Easter Traditions

Livingston Arts invites you to a Polish Easter Basket and Foods demonstration, the next event in our continuing Festive Foodways series presented by the Traditional Arts program. The event features the traditional foods and customs of the basket, or Swieconka. Attendees will also have the opportunity to decorate naturally-dyed eggs. It will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Interfaith Center, 11 Franklin St., Geneseo. Families and all ages are welcome and the event is free, with donations gratefully accepted.

The Swieconka tradition is maintained in Poland and in various Polish American communities in the United States as well, including the Buffalo area and locally in Perry. The day before Easter, Catholic families would assemble specific foods and decorations in a basket and take it to the church to be blessed. Irene Goral and Jan Bonarski, both longtime Perry residents, will assist with the demonstration and relate their experiences as they have continued this and other Polish Easter traditions. Dorota Koczanowicz, visiting SUNY Geneseo lecturer from Poland, will also share her knowledge and lead the egg decorating session. The three women will also offer mazurek, a typical Easter bread to sample. They will be accompanied by Folklorist Karen Canning.

The program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, Traditional Arts Program, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.

The idea of our Festive Foodways series is to introduce and explore the role of foods in our celebratory traditions. “Foodways” describes the methods, meanings, process of transmission, and food itself as it relates to our experiences of being connected to others through family, ethnicity, religion, community, and the land. Our programs demonstrate how foodways are an integral part of traditional expressive culture, looking at distinctive decorative skills, symbols, ingredients, presentation, and related arts that embody the unique identities of our featured communities.