June 26, 2013

Noc Swietojanska


A year ago I have decided to introduce my children to "Noc Swietojanska"- the eve of St. John the Baptist, which of course is the 23rd of June.

In Poland there is a famous legend about "Kwiat Paproci" - Fern Flower that bloomed only for short time on the eve of St John's. The story goes that whoever finds it, will possess the riches of the world, but under one condition, the "lucky" one can't share it with anybody, otherwise the he will lose the wealth.
There was young poor man who found it and became rich. He was happy on the beginning, but after realizing that all that wealth won't make him happy, like the family and love does, he decided to let go of it.

So a year ago I read this story in Polish (!) but then translated it into English. The girls liked it, even though it made Zuzia terrified. The legend was written in more frightening way that mine. The night was dark, the sounds of the forest sounded spooky, there was howling, screaming, steps, wailing of a child. The young man tried to find it for years, and finally he succeeded...

I made for my girls  their own blooming kwiat paproci. The search wasn't as dramatic as the story told us, the girls did not have to look for it in the spooky forest and I did not come up with terrifying sounds:) Late in the evening after it became very dark, they had to go to the garden and find their little treasure. But after listening to the story, they were a little anxious.
The good thing was, that they could share their treasure, but they actually were very happy to keep it to themselves... .

All of us liked it so much, that we decided to make it a yearly tradition. Last Sunday was an eve of St John's. The Sunday was hot and very busy, after very busy Saturday in Fitchburg, we felt that we needed more rest, but it turned out that we had a lot of the plate that day. Even though we were dead tired, I couldn' t postpone the eve. We would have to wait for a year. I made plan for the night, wrote the schedule, ( made few spelling mistakes )...

 ...and off we went:)

We hit few roadblocks though:

-Kubus fell asleep before 8pm, and couldn't look for his treasure.
-I have misplaced somewhere the book with the story and could not find it.
-Right when my girls have found their kwiat paproci, the battery in my camera died, so I could not capture the moment:(

Overall we remembered the legend and few other traditions, made s'mores, lit the sparkles and found the blooming fern. The tradition is established. I am glad that I can bring them closer to the Polish legends and culture even more.


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