I was raised Catholic, so before I lived in Greenpoint I knew nothing about the beautiful Polish Easter custom of Święconka (pronunciation: shi’ven-tson-kah), meaning “the blessing of the Easter baskets.” On Saturday thousands of well-dressed Polish families will walk to either St. Stanislaw Kostka church on Driggs Avenue or Sts. Cyril and Methodius on Dupont Street with baskets in hand for one of the most colorful Polish traditions.
The holiday probably predates Christianity in Poland. Its original form began in the seventh century and today’s form dates from the twelfth. The food in each family’s basket is full of symbolic meaning. Poles carry eggs, which symbolize both Jesus and life. They also carry horseradish, which reminds them of the bitter suffering of Jesus on the cross. In addition, they carry bread, which is also a symbol of Jesus. The basket also contains salt, representing purity, as well as ham or kielbasa, which is symbolic of bounty and good times.
Poles will arrive at the church and say prayers of thanksgiving. The highlight of the prayer service is when the priest sprinkles holy water on the baskets. There’s a festive and joyful attitude amongst Poles on Saturday and Święconka remains one of the most colorful and authentic celebrations that defines the Polish community in Greenpoint.
WEDNESDAY 3/27 • Newtown Creek CAG Meeting @ LaGuardia Community College (31-10 Thomson Ave, E Building, Room E500) 6-8pm, a conversation with the EPA and NYCDEP about Superfund and Newtown Creek ♦ Free Cities Party NYC-Flint @ Metropolitan Exchange (33 Flatbush Ave) 8-10pm, silent auction, crepes, virtual tours, booze from Michigan, RSVP * Daiquiris & Dub @ Beloved (674 Manhattan Ave) 9pm, DJ Kahncept spinning heady dub and reggae, $7 Denizen Rum cocktails
THURSDAY 3/28 ♫ Gondola / Helioscope / Jeremy Mark Freer / Satellite Radion @ Bar Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue) 7pm, $6 ♥ Is Feminism Sexy? @ Word (126 Franklin St) 7pm, Jennifer Armstrong discusses what feminism means to young women today, RSVP * Skate Night Rockaway Benefit @ Villain (50 N 3rd St) 9pm, FREE, live music, dj’s, mini ramps, art auction, raffle and prizes, food and drinks, RSVP ♥ Pussy Power Aerial & Variety Show @ House of Yes (342 Maujer St, Bushwick) 8pm, $15, estrogen-fueled super-circus celebrating the Va-J-J herself, RSVP ♫ Dichroics / Circle of Buzzards / Dead Stars @ Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $10 ♫ Reggae Bash @ RBar (451 Meeker Ave) 9:30pm, FREE, 3 Kings Sound, RSVP ♫ Archipelago / Belle Mare / Ora Cogan @ Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave) 8pm
SATURDAY 3/30 * Easter Egg Hunt @ McGolrick/Winthrop Park, 11am, $5, Pack a picnic lunch and celebrate the start of spring! • Compost Harvest & Housecleaning @ North Brooklyn Compost Project (McCarren Park, N12th St and Driggs) 1-4pm, harvest compost, take some home, help fancy up the site ♥ Meat All About It @ TBD (214 Franklin St) 2pm, “lets make Misteaks together … bringing back the STEAK! and other yummy outdoor food, DJs Greg Smith & the Broken English at 6pm ♫ Ed Schrader’s Music Beat / Jamaican Queens / Free Blood / Zula @ Shea Stadium (20 Meadow St) 8pm, $8
SUNDAY 3/31 – Happy Easter! ♦ Easter Craft Fair @ Fashion Rock (372 Tompkins Ave, Bed-Stuy) 4-10pm, More info ♫ Unstoppable Death Machines / Fake Hooker / Respect / Laughters / Mtns. @ Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave) 8pm
Greenpoint Church is awesome and this Sunday they are having an Easterpalooza. Aside from the millions of amazing activities, like make your own baseball card on the ancient letterpress in the basement and get your portrait taken in your Easter Sunday’s best, there will be a dessert contest from 2:30-3:30!!! So be there, bring your best dessert and enjoy the day with some really rad people! See you there!