Croatia – Food Blessing
On the Easter Saturday afternoon, during the evening of Resurrection or the Easter morning, it is nice to watch dotted groups of people with covered baskets gather around churches to one of Dul?i?’s beats and tunes. However, those tiny houses of prayer that barely have enough benches for everyone are the most beautiful ones. The baskets tend to end up on the floor, in a circle, and each of them displays the whitest, most embroidered, and perhaps the oldest linen cover that could be found in their owner’s home. The baskets themselves are a gentle lyrical leftover from the old days. Even though they are continually sold at fairs and department stores even today or imported as exotic items, their time, and that of the wicker they were made from and of the hands that still make them, has actually expired. It is also the case with those differences that make it obvious whether the wicker used to make baskets is from Šestine or Rijeka Dubrova?ka. Green onion feathers stick out from the baskets and when you lift up the linen covers, you can also see scarlet radishes, Easter or white bread, colourful eggs or plain white eggs, ham and cake…Everything we look forward to at the Easter table, everything the heavens delight us with and everything the Earth bestows upon us. The number of eggs in a basket in most of our regions matches the number of family members. However, in some places, the custom of adding eggs for the dearly departed has been preserved, and in general, for those who are no longer with us…This custom has originated in the ancient times and it removes the barriers between space and time.
We, just like the food in the baskets, have grown out of the Earth. We are its substance and fruit. The food we carry to be blessed, our daily and holiday bread, sustains us and renews us to the very last cell in our bodies making us brand new every few years. Therefore, this food that renews us must be full of that life-giving energy that lifts us off the ground, directs us from the root to the treetop and above it. The blessing that we seek and call upon is our gratitude for its life energy and our request to keep supporting us.
In regions where old customs have been preserved, the eggshells of eggs that have been blessed are scattered on the ground and across the fields. This way, the Earth’s contribution is returned to it and the cycle of repayment and gratitude is completed. Each Easter basket carried to be blessed, in addition to the spring splendour of the Earth’s matter, also contains the experience of grace and the supplement of hope.
This year’s Easter stamp of Croatian Post is dedicated to that experience and that hope. Željka ?orak
Issue Date: 03.04.2017
Designer: Maja Danica Pe?ani?, designer from Zagreb
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicolour Offset Printing
Size: 35.50 x 29.82 mm
Values: 3.10 HRK