Saturday, April 30, 2011

119/365: Painkillers

119/365: Painkillers
119/365: Painkillers, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 29th

For after wisdom tooth surgery. Horizontal impaction, not fun at all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

118/365: A cuddle

118/365: A cuddle
118/365: A cuddle, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 28th

My backpack is the best place to sleep on, because that means I can't go anywhere.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

117/365: Kasia and the Butterfly

117/365: Kasia and the Butterfly
April 27th

The Lodz Zoo opened a special butterfly exhibit. You're not supposed to pick up the butterflies, but if they land on you themselves, it's fair game. ;)
It was hard to take photos, because the butterflies prefer to keep their wings closed...

Butterfly at the Lodz Zoo

...and they favour the ceiling. But this fellow decided to stick with us for a while:

Blue Butterfly

I got a photo with him, too. Made me think of milking butterflies in Glitch. :P

Me and the butterfly

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

116/365: Zulka and the plants

116/365: Zulka and the plants

April 26th

Which I was glad to see she did not destroy while I was gone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

115/365: Powązki Cemetery

115/365: Powązki Cemetery
115/365: Powązki Cemetery, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 25th

This morning, our neighbours were going to the cemetery to visit a loved one. I went along with them, because Powązki is so beautiful. There are so many statues, and famous people buried there. And an aunt of mine whom I loved when I was small. I had a little bit of trouble finding her grave, but I did and left her a votive in blue glass.

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery

Monday, April 25, 2011

114/365: Eggs for Easter

114/365: Eggs for Easter
114/365: Eggs for Easter, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 24th

In Poland, on Easter Sunday, the first thing you eat is a slice of boiled egg. You go from person to person, wishing them a happy Easter...and whatever else you want them to be blessed with.

Then you get to eat everything else.

Easter Wishes

Sunday, April 24, 2011

113/365: Family and assorted friends

113/365: Family and assorted friends
April 23rd

From left to right: Marcin, the Porzeziński Family (note Tosia hiding in the background), my dad, my mum, my sister and her boyfriend, imported from Barcelona.

In the photo, they are all standing by the Dominican Order Church, with their Easter Baskets in hand. Every year on Good Saturday, we take baskets filled with samples of the Easter meal to church where a priest blesses them:

Blessing the food

They're a symbol of all the food that will be on our table that year. It's like saying grace before a meal, but with a long-term warranty.

Afterwards we go look at the grave in the church (where I don't take photos because people are praying) and then we fill a bottle with holy water from a barrel set out on the church steps:

Holy water

Oh, and here's a bonus. My sister has a new boyfriend- David from Barcelona. Here they are in real life....

My sister and her boyfriend

...and in egg form.

My sister and her boyfriend

I am told he painted her and she painted him.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

112/365: Mazurki

112/365: Mazurki
112/365: Mazurki, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 22nd

Also some babas and wine, and a poppyseed cake. We made less than usual this year, because half the usual guests are over in Finland where my half-brother's daughter's husband relocated with his family to work on building a powerplant. So no great-grand-nephew or great-grand-niece will eat these, alas. Well, more for me!
Mazurek

Mazurek

Friday, April 22, 2011

111/365: Narcissus

111/365: Narcissus
111/365: Narcissus, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 21st

I always say daffodil, but daffodils are a type of narcissus...it's so confusing.
Also in my mother's garden, some tulips:

Tulip

Some of these, whatever they are:

Blue inflorescence

...and the magnolia:

Magnolia

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

109/365: Grandpa and Grandma

109/365: Grandpa and Grandma
April 19th

On their balcony. Grandpa doesn't like his planters to be bare, so before real flowers bloom, he sticks in fake daffodils. The hyacinths are real, though!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

108/365: The Kościuszko Mound

108/365: The Kościuszko Mound
April 18th

This hill is an artificial mound erected in 1823 in honour of Tadeusz Kościuszko (Thaddeus Kosciusko for you American types), and it is modeled after the legendary burial mounds of King Krak and Princess Wanda. It's just over a thousand feet above sea level, and you can see the whole city from the top.

When construction first began, most of Poland was under foreign occupation and split into three territories, between Russia, Prussia and Austria. Cracow itself was a Free City, in theory an independent and neutral miniature country, though in reality it remained under the control of the three occupants and was represented by them in all foreign matters. The monument was financed and built entirely by donated money and effort of patriots from the occupied territories- you can see how symbolic the construction would have been to Poles living under foreign rule. Note that among many of Kościuszko's great deeds was the insurrection of 1794, a revolt against the Russian and Prussian occupation. It failed, but was a great and valiant movement of the people.

Soil was brought from many areas to add to the great mound, among them Polish and American battlefields where Kościuszko fought. In the picture you can see St. Bronisława's chapel, the site chosen for the mound being a hill already dedicated to her. A few decades later, the Austrians built a citadel around the mound and used it as a strategic lookout. Part of that citadel still remains and now houses a museum dedicated to Kościuszko.

Cracow, view from the Kościuszko Mound

Monday, April 18, 2011

107/365: Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana

107/365: Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana

Remember how last Saturday I posted really quickly and didn't write much? It was because I was at my grandparents' place, with only cell-phone internet, and the visit was a stop on the way South to a little mountain village called Lipnica Murowana.

What's so great about Lipnica Murowana, you ask?

Well, every year, on Palm Sunday, they make these:


Here comes the Palm

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana



See, we don't have palm trees in Poland, so for Palm Sunday we have to improvise.

The palms are yet another tradition borrowed from pagan culture (and Lipnica even has a church built in the 12th century in a pagan Holy Grove, with the altar set on a pillar carved with a pagan god's likeness...serious history there:

St. Leonard's church in Lipnica Murowana

The ceiling of St. Leonard's church in Lipnica Murowana


...and of course that means it's colourful, joyful, and very creative.



Firemen and Palms

Everyone wants to see


But the very special thing about Lipnica Murowana is that the village holds a yearly contest for the tallest handmade 'palm'. And it gets VERY competitive.


Raising the Palm


Above, the second-tallest palm is raised, with great care and caution. Because there are rules that make this contest exciting. No nails or other metal elements can be used in making the palms- only wood, willow, reeds, green branches and paper flowers are allowed.

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana


Wires, ropes and lines from synthetic materials are also forbidden. In order to qualify in the contest, the palm has to stand upright without breaking, it has to be raised with no help from machines (hence the men in the trees guiding the lines, and those on the ground, pushing with special long forks), and the author must be able to wrap his hands around the trunk.

Raising the Palm in Lipnica Murowana

The palm in the photo above is the first prize winner, at 36.4 metres- that's almost 120 feet! I heard someone say the whole thing weighed about 600 lbs. It took about a dozen men half an hour to get it upright.

Palm Sunday


Here are some of the shorter palms, arranged around the statue of St. Szymon:

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana


And this is me with the palms I bought. They were made by local schoolchildren:

Me in Lipnica

...and Marta who went with me, chasing off a bee:

Shoo, bee!

Here's the whole set on flickr. I took tons of photos. :

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana

Sunday, April 17, 2011

106/365: Candy Floss in Cracow

106/365: Candy Floss in Cracow

April 16th

I'm in Cracow! But I didn't buy any candy floss. Don't like the stuff.

Friday, April 15, 2011

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