Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Easter tradition.... The butter lamb.....



An Easter tradition...... The butter lamb...........

I am really getting excited about Easter now! I picked up our butter lambs yesterday at the Polish Market. For as long as I can remember my family has always had a butter lamb on Easter. To me it just wouldn't be Easter without one of these precious little lambs to grace our table......
The butter lamb is actually a Polish Catholic tradition but we've always celebrated it in our home even though my father was German Lutheran and my mother was Irish Catholic. I don't know how the tradition originally got started in our home but I'm very glad it did. I think it's a wonderful tradition and one that hopefully will be handed down generation to generation.....
Either my mother or my paternal grandmother always seem to find the lambs that were already dressed so all you had to do was open a box. Then about fifteen years ago they were no where to me found. I was absolutely frantic! I went all over the place looking for a lamb. I told everyone in my family it just wouldn't seem like Easter to me with out the Easter lamb. These little lambs have always been one of the most important Easter traditions for me. Later that week I went to the Polish Market and there they were. I bought two and decided not to tell my family because I wanted to surprise them all. Imagine my surprise when everyone walked in on Easter Sunday carrying little butter lambs! We had seven butter lambs that year and it was one of the best Easter's I've ever had. It was also one we have all laughed and talked about for years....
The lambs from the Polish Market come neatly packaged. On Easter morning I will take them out and put the eyes in. Some people use peppercorn and others use cloves. It's been said that the eyes signify God's lighting the world. Then I will cut a piece of red ribbon to wrap around the lamb's neck. The red ribbon is used to represent the blood of Christ. It is a reminder that He died for us and for our salvation. The actual lamb itself represents the pascal (passover) lamb.....
This is a picture of last years butter lamb waiting to be carried to our Easter table. What about you? Do you have a butter lamb on your table at Easter? If not, what kinds of other Easter traditions do you hold dear? I would love to hear from you......
With warmest regards, Carol

22 comments:

Anne said...

I'm happy that you were able to find your little butter lamb again this year. Your right, it just wouldn't be Easter without a butter lamb! =)

Brenda Eason said...

I love him,but have never heard or seen one.Thanks for the school lesson.

Valerie said...

I absolutely loved this post!

First, I am 100% Polish-American. Besides the butter lamb, we would have a lamb cake for dessert. When we would go to Detroit for Easter, my grandparents would always prepare the Easter basket to take to Church to be blessed. Everyone would place their Easter baskets on the altar filled with breads, kielbasas, hams, eggs, etc. and Father would provide the Easter blessing.

Second, when I visited our post, Judy Garland's Somewhere Over the Rainbow began playing. My daughter RAN in from the other room. She is a huge Wizard of Oz fan!

Finally, if you have a moment, please drop by my blog to read this week's Blue Monday post and last week's Blue Monday post (just scroll down and you will find it). I think that you might really enjoy both of them!

Wow, German Lutheran and Irish Catholic...probably a rowdy bunch LOL!!!

Blessings to you from Kansas,
Valerie

Madeline's Album said...

This was a beautiful post. I love learning about other peoples traditions. Have a nice evening.

Vee said...

Noooo, but I'd love to...have never heard of a butter lamb until reading your post. Reading about seven lambs one Easter made me grin. That's the kind of thing that becomes family legend, isn't it!

Shellmo said...

I hope to have a butter lamb at my table this year! :-) Loved hearing about this tradition and the meaning behind the eyes and the ribbon.

Valerie said...

I am totally in love with your blog! I was lurking and discovered your Paczki posting. My parents were both born in Hamtramck.

My one remaining grandparent (my grandmother that had the beauty shop) currently lives in Clinton Township.

In October I traveled with my parents and 2 little ones to Detroit to celebrate my grandmother's 88th birthday. we are a rowdy bunch when you get all of my Polish relatives together!

Did you see my Irish dancing post? I grew up in St. Louis and attended an Irish-Catholic grade school. Believe me when I say that I was the only little Polish girl in an Irish dancing costume!

Blessings to you from Kansas,
Valerie

The Muse said...

Something very new to me...I have heard of chocolate lambs and bunnies...but not butter...

I am happy that your family tradition can be enjoyed this year my friend!

♥ Kathy said...

no butter lamb for me =( They are completely cute though!

zetor said...

What a lovely tradition, I hadn't heard of that.

sunshine said...

What! There's butter out there shaped like a wee lamb and I didn't know about it!?!
How cute it that!!!!!! I love it and am going to try to find some here.
Laura

Aaydens Mommy said...

Yay! You got the butter lamb again ! LOL I can't believe Easter is just around the corner now. =)

Smilingsal said...

This is a new one to me! I like that you tried to surprise your family and they in turn, surprised you!

I love this tradition and would like to find one for my table. I'm going to look right now.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I had never seen this before. I wonder where I can get a butter lamb here. We so have a big POlish population.

Rosezilla said...

I had never heard of a butter lamb. They are really cute! And I like symbolic things. I love sunrise service on Resurrection Sunday! That's my favorite. usually in the afternoon we have a picnic with our family. One year we flew kites, that was cool.

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

I have never heard of a butter lamb.But they sure are cute !

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a nice tradition! I never heard of a butter lamb even though my maternal ancestors are Ukrainian and had many similar to Polish traditions. I'd love to find one of those molds --is there a web site to buy them from?

My Italian husband's family often have a lamb made out of cake or sugar as an Easter decoration and treat.

Just a little something from Judy said...

My mother made butter lambs for many years, and I never knew it was a Polish tradition. She did not add eyes or a bow...great idea! Thank you for sharing with us, how it all came to be. I will tell my family.

Deb said...

I've never heard of that before, how neat

Michael said...

My Polish aunt gets as excited as you do about the butter lamb! I'll let you know if she finds one this year!

Firefly Nights said...

What a wonderful tradition. I've never heard of it before. I wonder if one could find a lamb mold someplace and press sticks of butter into it to take the shape?

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