Thursday, June 11, 2009

tonight: bison mojitos, send your wreath down the mahoning river, and a new website

I've got to hand it to the Polish Youngstown group - they've got their act together.

Let's take only one example: the Polish Happy Hour event tonight thursday june 11th from 5:30pm to 9pm at the B&O train station downtown.

This month's installment will include:

- in celebration of Noc Swietojanska (St. John's Eve), where attendees will be floating wreaths down the Mahoning River
- a DIY jam session of Polish folk songs
- a buffet of czerwona kapusta (red cabbage) and homemade kielbasa, finished off by some swotka brzoskwinie (brandied peaches) for dessert
- Żubrówka bison vodka mojitos
- the boxcar lounge will have good ol' Żywiec, as well as southeastern Poland’s regional brew, Okocim

The group also launched a new stylish website yesterday, with details on the plethora of events they are planning.

I counted 14 events in the month of June 2009 alone. Very ambitious!

Some highlights include:
- Polish Night at the Indians' game - June 12th
- Pierogi-making class/opportunity - June 17th, 24th
- Polish Night at the Scrappers' game - July 15th (czech out their baseball shirts)
- Youngstown Polish Day - August 30th
- Polish is being offered fall 2009 as a language at YSU

a history of the fest being celebrated tonight:
"During early summer, people gathered at a fire, jumping through it, singing songs, dancing and having lots of fun. This was probably originally a feast celebrating the sun as a source of light and warmth that took place around the shortest night of the year. The midsummer feast was moved into the night of St. John the Baptist (June 23-24) and the cult of fire was changed into the celebration of the light of the Bible.

Now, the shortest night during the year is called Noc Swietojanska (St. John's Eve). It is also said that the fern's flower (kwiat paproci) may be found only on this night. According to legend, whoever finds this mysterious fern will soon find great treasures.

Women throw herbs into the fire in the hope that it will protect them from evil, single women make wreaths from herbs and float them down the river hoping that their future husband will find it and fall in love with them (Rzucanie Wiankow, the Throwing of Wreaths), and men jump through the fire to test their strength and courage.

Even today the traditional candle-lit wreaths are floated on the Vistula in Krakow, on the night of St. John the Baptist feast, together with fireworks and bonfires to commemorate the holiday. We will join in the fun by making our wreaths and floating them on the Mahoning!"

No comments: