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  • Writer's pictureDamian Brzeski

Easter holidays in Gdańsk. Not just a walk by the sea

Easter, with its deep roots in the Christian tradition, takes on a particularly colorful dimension in Poland, combining spirituality with the richness of local customs. This holiday, although closely related to the Catholic faith, in Gdańsk is transformed into a time full of universal values, such as renewal, family and community. Gdańsk, a city with an extraordinary history and picturesque location, becomes a stage for unique Easter traditions and invites you to celebrate the arrival of spring together.

We encourage you to discover how Gdańsk celebrates Easter, from charming family customs, through colorful Easter egg workshops, to Easter walks that discover the city in the full glory of spring awakening. Regardless of the weather, which can sometimes be unpredictable, Gdańsk offers unforgettable experiences and shows that Easter is a time full of joy, reflection and beauty.

We invite you to read the rest of the article, where you will discover why celebrating Easter in Gdańsk is a unique experience that will certainly remain in your heart for a long time.

Family at the Easter table in Gdańsk

Easter is one of the oldest and most important holidays

Considering that tourists from almost all over the world read this blog, it would be worth first briefly describing what Easter itself is in Polish culture. While New Year or Christmas is celebrated by almost all cultures around the world, regardless of religion, Easter is a holiday closely associated with Catholics and celebrated only by Catholics.

Although the celebration varies slightly in different churches. Below is a bulleted description of how Easter is celebrated in the main Christian traditions:

Easter in the Roman Catholic Church

  • Easter Vigil: The central point of Easter celebrations, celebrated after dark on Holy Saturday, including the blessing of the fire, Passover, the Liturgy of the Word, the renewal of baptismal vows, and the Eucharist.

  • Święconka: Benediction of foods on Holy Saturday that are eaten during Easter breakfast.

  • Easter Breakfast: Family breakfast starting with sharing a blessed egg.

Easter in Orthodoxy

  • Holy Night: The celebrations begin on Saturday evening with the Paschal service, which lasts until the early hours of Sunday morning, with a procession around the church, the singing of "Christ is Risen" and the Paschal liturgy.

  • Passover: A traditional Easter dish consisting of cottage cheese, eggs and butter, symbolizing the Resurrection of Christ.

  • Blessing of Food: Typically takes place after the Paschal liturgy, including the Passover, eggs, bread and other foods.

Easter in the Protestant church

  • Easter services: Protestants focus primarily on the Resurrection aspect, often to the exclusion of more ceremonial Catholic and Orthodox practices. Services may include Bible readings, sermons, hymns, and often the Lord's Supper.

  • Easter morning services: In some Protestant communities, morning services for sunrise, symbolizing the Resurrection, are popular.

  • Family and Community Celebration: As in Catholicism, celebration often includes family gatherings and shared meals, but with less emphasis on the traditional blessing of food.

Easter in the Anglican Church

  • Paschal Triduum: As in Catholicism, Anglicans celebrate the Paschal Triduum, beginning on Maundy Thursday and ending on Easter Sunday, with an emphasis on the liturgical celebration of the Resurrection.

  • Blessing of food: In some Anglican communities, the blessing of Easter food is also practiced.

Oriental Christianity (e.g. Coptic, Ethiopian)

  • Lent: Lent before Easter is particularly rigorous, often involving severe fasting.

  • Paschal Services: Easter celebrations include particularly solemn and long services, with rich liturgical traditions, often starting late in the evening and lasting until dawn.

  • Local traditions: Each of the Oriental Churches has unique traditions and rituals, reflecting their rich cultural and spiritual heritage.

Although the methods of celebrating Easter vary between denominations, the common element for all Christians is the joyful celebration of the Lord's Resurrection, which is the center of faith and hope.

Easter breakfast in Gdańsk

How is Easter celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church?

Easter, also known as Passover, is the most important and oldest Christian holiday, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which, according to Christian beliefs, took place on the third day after His death on the cross. The date of Easter celebration is flexible and is set for the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox, which usually falls between March 22 and April 25.

Easter is the culmination of the Paschal Triduum, beginning on Maundy Thursday, continuing through Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and ending with Easter Sunday. It is a time of deep religious reflection, prayer, but also celebrating the victory of life over death, light over darkness and good over evil.

Easter traditions are rich and diverse, depending on culture and region. In Poland and many other Christian countries they include:

  • Easter Vigil : Celebrated on the night from Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday, it is the most important liturgy in the church year, during which fire and water are blessed, and the Liturgy of the Word, baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist take place.

  • Święconka : The tradition of blessing food that will be eaten during Easter breakfast. Bread, eggs, salt, meat and other foods symbolizing various aspects of life and faith are placed in the basket.

  • Easter Breakfast : The first meal of the day on Easter Sunday, when families gather to celebrate the Resurrection together. It is a time of joyful celebration, often starting with sharing an egg.

  • Śmigus-Dyngus : Also known as Wet Monday, the favorite holiday of all children, the second day of Easter, during which the tradition is to throw water at each other, which has its roots in pagan cleansing rites.

As you can see, Easter is not only a time of religious traditions and family celebrations, but also an opportunity to reflect on life, renewal and hope. It is a holiday that reminds us of the cyclical nature of life, of changeability and that after every darkness comes light.

The celebration of Easter, regardless of individual beliefs, is an important element of culture and tradition, passed down from generation to generation, preserving the memory of history, beliefs and values that shape human society.

Children play with Easter eggs during Easter

Easter traditions in Gdańsk

Easter, celebrated with great splendor and deep spiritual significance throughout Poland, has a particularly charming character in Gdańsk. They are not only a time of religious reflection and rebirth, but also an opportunity to celebrate spring, renewal and community. Easter interweaves ancient traditions with modern customs, creating a unique atmosphere.

One of the most recognizable symbols of Easter are Easter eggs - eggs decorated with various techniques, from painting and engraving to modern methods such as decoupage.

In Gdańsk, this tradition has a long history, with Easter eggs often decorated with nautical motifs, reflecting the city's connection with the sea. Already a few weeks before Easter, many places offer the opportunity to sign up for Easter egg decorating workshops.

Święconka, i.e. the blessing of food on Holy Saturday, is another custom deeply rooted in the Gdańsk tradition. The baskets are filled not only with standard elements, such as bread, salt, meat, and eggs, but also with local specialties, including Kashubian ham or Gdańsk herbal liqueur, which emphasizes the regional character of the celebration. 

The Easter walk, as one of the most important and probably the most favorite practices among many Gdańsk residents, is a unique custom that combines the need to be outdoors after the winter with the desire to experience community.

Walking routes often lead through the picturesque streets of the Old Town, along the Motława River, or, if the weather is nice, by the sea or among the greenery on Sobieszewska Island, where residents and tourists can admire the city's spring aura.

An interesting fact is that in the past, Easter in Gdańsk was also an opportunity to organize Easter fairs, where handicrafts, traditional baked goods and culinary specialties were sold.

Although on a smaller scale, this tradition is returning, to my delight, offering residents and guests the opportunity to purchase local products and handicrafts. It's a pity that it's not on such a scale as, for example, the Christmas market in Gdańsk, which recently gained the reputation of being the best in Europe.

Currently, in Gdańsk, apart from home activities, Easter workshops are also organized, during which both adults, children and tourists can learn the art of creating Easter eggs, baking Easter cakes or making Easter palms.

This combination of education and fun is proof of how traditions adapt to modern realities, while maintaining their unique, local Gdańsk character.

Easter traditions in Gdańsk, combining historical elements with modern initiatives, create a rich and multidimensional image of celebration that attracts and fascinates. It is a testimony to how the city's inhabitants cherish their heritage, while at the same time opening up to new ways of celebrating these unique holidays.

A big Easter egg in Gdańsk

The best places for an Easter walk

Gdańsk, with its picturesque streets, historic buildings and seaside boulevards, offers plenty of great places for an Easter stroll.

This year, although Easter falls at the end of March and the spring weather may be unpredictable, this beautiful city has many corners perfect for exploring, regardless of the vagaries of the weather.

Get to know the most interesting and popular places for an Easter walk chosen by Gdańsk residents:

  • Długi Targ and Długa Street - the heart of Gdańsk, full of colorful tenement houses, fountains and important monuments, such as Artus Court and the Golden Gate. A walk here is a great opportunity to feel the historical pulse of the city while admiring the Easter decorations.

  • Oliwa Park and Oliwa Cathedral - Although nature may not be fully awake in early spring, Oliwa Park with its old trees, streams and ponds offers peace and relaxation. Easter walks here are a moment of respite among the greenery, and warmer days will allow you to admire the first signs of spring.

  • Sobieszewska Island and the Bird Paradise Reserve - For those who are looking for peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Sobieszewska Island and the neighboring Bird Paradise Reserve are an ideal choice. They offer unique opportunities for observing nature and are a real paradise for bird lovers. Walks here allow you to take a deep breath and contact with nature, while offering beautiful landscapes and peace that is difficult to experience in other parts of the city.

  • Beach and promenade in Brzeźno - For those who are not afraid of the cooler sea air, a walk along the seashore in Brzeźno can be a unique experience. Easter by the sea has its own unique atmosphere, and the fresh, iodine air adds energy.

  • Kościuszko Square in Gdynia - The promenade along the marina is an ideal place for a walk for lovers of maritime climates. The view of sailing ships and ships, as well as the proximity of the Sea, is an extremely attractive combination.

  • Dolina Radości and Tricity Landscape Park - For those who prefer contact with nature, Dolina Radości and the trails of the Tricity Landscape Park offer both easy and more demanding walking routes. Spring nature coming to life is an additional attraction.

The Easter bunny with Easter eggs invites you to a taxi

Now you see that Gdańsk has its charming corners that encourage you to take a walk after the Easter feast, even if the weather is not perfect, it offers many attractions tailored to various preferences. Easter is a time to leave the house and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city.

Many of these places are easily accessible and offer unique experiences, making an Easter walk in Gdańsk one of the beautiful holiday traditions.



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