Ritual Renewal: Polish-American Easter Traditions

Ritual Renewal: Polish-American Easter Traditions

Mar 12, 1989 - Apr 9, 1989


For Catholics worldwide, Easter is a major celebration of faith. Western New York’s Polish-Americans are no exception to this, their rich traditions Ash Wednesday and carrying through to the Easter Monday Dyngus Day, a custom nearly lost to Buffalo but reinvigorated and given new life. Polish-Americans merge the culture of Poland with their own immigrant experiences to create a tapestry of traditions layering the sacred and secular into an image of faith, healing, and community. 

In 1989, Kate Koperski brought Polish-American Easter into the galley. Photographs by Marion Faller documented from Buffalo’s Broadway Easter Market, where traditional food and decorative items are purchased in preparation, to Dyngus Day festivities capping off Easter week. A follow up to the 1988 exhibit The Iconography of Rebirth, the 1989 exhibition Ritual Renewal explored not just the aesthetics of Easter traditions, but the complete experience of this holiday in Western New York for members of the Polish-American community.

Click here for a digital copy of the exhibit catalog.