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Polish Butter Lambs

October 13, 2021 2 min read

Polish Easter Traditions Butter Lambs

Polish Butter Lamb History

Agnusekor Maślany baranek wielkanocny, as is butter lamb in Polish, and all the symbolism behind it, actually came from the pagan times when people celebrated the change from winter to summer. 

As Catholic Easter falls during the early spring, some of the pagan customs transferred to Catholic traditions, as part of the agreement to make the transition into the new faith as smooth as possible. 

Lambs, born in spring, have been (unfortunately) used as giving to the gods in pagan customs. They also serve as a metaphor for the people of Christ in Catholicism (as in Christ being the Shepherd and his people being his lambs), and they are seen as a reminder of Christ’s love and his sacrifice. It was only natural to transfer this symbol from one way of living to another. 

Easter, being one of the most important celebrations in Christianity, is filled with different traditions. And so, as a part of Polish Easter traditions, people create a basket filled with food called Święconka, to take with them to the Easter mass on Easter morning to be blessed. This food is the first to be eaten on that day and the table where breakfast is served comes beautifully decorated. 

An almost mandatory Polish Easter decoration involves a figure of a lamb. And so, there you have it - today you will find butter shaped like a lamb, sugar shaped like a lamb, chocolate shaped like a lamb, porcelain or clay figures shaped like a lamb… A whole Polish butter lamb tradition. 

Though homemade butter lamb was the norm in the past, today you can buy it in shops when Easter preparations begin. This has even led to the fact that butter lambs are more often replaced by other types of baranek wielkanocny so you can preserve it for longer. 

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