DAY 9: Palm Sunday & Chopin Museum
We got up early to go to church to see the holy procession of Palm Sunday. We planned to go to a church on the outskirt of Warsaw. After last night's careful planning, it would be perfect to just take 1 bus all the way and walk. We should arrive there within an hour.
BUT....it wasn't that easy.
We all got ready to leave the hostel we came out and WOOOOOAAAHHHHH a sea of runners. Where were they going? What's happening? Oh....it was a marathon. We were all hyped and excited, cheering for them, hi-fiving them, applauded as they passed by. Little did we know, we had to change all our plan. The bus wouldn't come up to around the hostel anymore. we took some time to ask around and found another route to use the underground and a tram.
However, to get to the underground we have to walk along the marathon route and cross it to the other side. How could we cross? They came like an ocean. There was no space for us. We couldn't cut across them. We saw men, women, people on wheelchairs, mothers with their baby strollers, fathers with their baby strollers, and even elderlies. They all kept running by us.
They ran ran ran.....
We just waited waited waited....
Then, we saw an opening. It was not big but just big enough for us to cross if we're quick. We turned around to find each other. We grouped up, held hands together, and counted.
READY. SET. GO!!!
and....we made it without bumping into anyone or making any of them lose their tempo.
Now, off to church!
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter Sunday. It is a very important day for Christians all over the world. It is the day that commemorates Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. According to the Bible, Jesus rode on a donkey through the city gate of Jerusalem with many people waiting to receive him. They would put palm leaves on the floor for his donkey to step on. They also wave these leaves as he passed by to greet him and cheer him.
The whole period of Easter is marks the foundation of Christian belief. The whole celebration comes to its peak with a reminder of Jesus’s dying on the cross to wash away the sin of all mankind. This happens on ‘Good Friday’. Three days later, He is resurrected…as a living God as Christians know today.
The children are fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of this celebration. We were invited by friends of Ajarn Nat, Artur and Hanna Dutkiewicz, to join them at a church in the outskirt of Warsaw. This 17th century church, Parish of Blessed Edward Detkens, has a long tradition in celebrating Palm Sunday with a procession of priests, choir, and a donkey to the church as a commemoration of Palm Sunday as described in the Bible. We were warmly welcomed by everyone from the Church with a special mentioning of visitors from Thailand too!
It was the first time for all of us to see such procession in real life. All church members were gathered in front of the church to wait for this procession with palm leaves and pussy willows in their hands. They waved them in the air as the procession passed by them while children were running after the donkey to seek for a chance to ride on it. One of our students was so lucky to be chosen too! Pitta was unafraid. The priest saw her running. He picked her up and put her securely on the donkey for a while. I tried to run after her to get some photos but it was just too crowded. Pitta came down later on beaming with a big smile across her face.
Later on, the procession continued into the church where we were seated closest to the altar. All children were invited to sit by the altar too. Not only that they got to see all the ceremony up close, but they also got the best seats to listen to Gregorian chants sung by professionals up close in a beautiful church acoustics too. We stayed there throughout the whole ceremony. It was a great experience for the children to see such tradition and to hear such music on such a holy day.
After a delicious lunch at the church’s canteen, we went to Chopin Museum. The children got to explore the life of Chopin as well as the stories behind his music. They got to see how he wrote his music, what he went through in his life, and his inspirations. The museum also offers stations where they can listen to music while looking through the scores and other readings on the each composition. I must say they did spend quite some time there.
This is only a part of the life of Chopin that they were learning through the museum. In a few days we will go to his house where he grew up in. The children already can’t wait to see it after the museum today
I suppose today was an easy Sunday. We took a break off Polish food for dinner and decided to take the children to a Thai meal. Some of them were already missing Thai food. When we arrived at the restaurant, I must say…..I couldn’t believe this was real…
They all screamed, ‘PAD THAI'