A Traditional Polish Swieconka Basket
Basket Contents and Symbolism:
Maslo / Butter : This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny), reminding us of the goodness of Christ that we should have toward all things.
Chleb / Easter Bread: A round rye loaf topped with a cross, symbolic of Jesus, the Bread of Life.
Chrzan / Horseradish : Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds, but sweetened with some sugar because of the Resurrection. (May be white or pink [w/grated red beets].)
Jajka / Eggs and Pisanki: Indicate new life and Christ's Resurrection from the Tomb.
Kielbasa / Sausage: A spicy sausage of pork products, indicative of God's favor and generosity.
Szynka / Ham: Symbolic of great joy and abundance. (In addition to the large ham cooked for the Easter Meal, often a special small ham, called the Szynka Wielkanocny) is purchased specially for Swieconka basket.)
Slonina / Smoked Bacon: A symbol of the over abundance of God's mercy and generosity.
Sol / Salt: So necessary an element in our physical life, that Jesus used its symbolism: "You are the salt of the earth."
Ser / Cheese: Shaped into a ball, it is the symbol of the moderation Christians should have.
Holy Water: Holy water is used to bless the home, animals,
fields and used in
religious rituals throughout the year.
A candle, often marked like the Paschal Candle lit during the Easter Vigil, is inserted into the basket to represent Christ, Light of the World.
A colorful ribbon and sometimes sprigs of greenery are attached.
The linen cover is drawn over the top and is ready for the trek to the blessing.