Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Heads or Tails #24 (first or last)

(*swelling organ music*) (*the following is read in 'the announcer voice' -- starting before the organ fades*) Once again, ladies and gentlemen, its time for another visit to Heads or Tails, the little online community of hopeful hearts and daring dreams. In today's episode, Curmudgeon ruminates on firsts... and lasts. As always, Heads or Tails is brought to you through the courtesy of sports fans, Blogging superstarBarb, the proud maker of Skittles' Place. Be sure to visit Skittles' Place in the blogging aisle of your quality Internet supermarket. And now (*organ music comes up again*) Heads or Tails....

It may be Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but in Chicago, it's "Paczki Day."

I'd heard vague references to "poonchki" (the standard pronunciation of "paczki") for years, but I never realized what a big deal it is in the Polish community until I was running for judge the first time.

I was up early every morning during that futile effort, passing out my propaganda on any street corner or bus stop or train station that I could. On Fat Tuesday I happened to be near a Polish bakery -- and I was duly impressed by the long lines of pastry aficionados. I may be slow on the uptake on many things, but when it comes to baked goods, I make it my business to become well informed.

Whatever you call it, today is the last day before Lent begins, the season of sacrifice and renewal that helps the Christian faithful prepare for Easter, the Feast of Resurrection, and, more generally, renewal and Spring.

For most Christians, Easter will fall this year on the first day possible, March 23 -- and about as far away as possible from the Jewish Passover as is possible. Even though the Last Supper was a Passover seder. On the other hand, for Orthodox Christians, Easter will fall at the end of April, right in sync with Passover. It all has to do with the determination of the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. If this confuses you, take comfort: You're neither the first, nor the last, to be confused.

It would be nice if an early Easter on the calendar augers an early Spring. But I'm surely not the first to express that thought. As another six to 12 inches of snow are forecast for Chicago tonight and tomorrow. Much as I hope it will be, I'm sure this won't be our last...

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Isn't this nice?

It's a Muppet doing yoga, I think.

Thanks, Barb, for giving this to me -- it made me smile.

6 comments:

Rambler said...

hey thanks for sharing poonchki with us.. would be fun to learn more about this one

Skittles said...

I love, love, love the way you start your posts every week!

I always wondered how the date Easter is celebrated on got picked. Now I know. And like the beginning of the old G.I. Joe cartoons says "Now you know and knowing is half the battle."

They never did say what the other half was..

Can you tell more about that swelling organ? (Grin.)

Misty Dawn said...

"I may be slow on the uptake on many things, but when it comes to baked goods, I make it my business to become well informed."... "a Muppet doing yoga"...
You are hilarious!
Then, I read the last line of Skittles' comment...
and now I'm gasping for air!
Thanks for brightening my morning (Winter stormy morning - uck) with some humor!

Toni Lea Andrews said...

So, how do you say "Let the Good Times Roll" in Polish?

Shelby said...

Opah! Well it sounded good.

Andrée said...

I didn't realize Easter would be so early. We will still be in snow (but then we always are anyhow, even in April). Great information.