Located along the southwest side of Grant Park, Agora is one of Chicago’s most recent and important sculptural installations. Comprised of 106 nine-foot tall headless torsos made of cast iron, the artwork derives it name from the Greek word for meeting place. The figures are posed walking in groups in various directions or standing still. Internationally renowned artist Magdalena Abakanowicz donated the sculptural group along with the Polish Ministry of Culture, a Polish cultural foundation, and other private donors. Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, Abakanowicz (b. 1930) was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed. In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.” The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz hasfrequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.
(from City of Chicago: the official website of Chicago)
Constitution Day is an official public holiday in Poland.
On May 3, 1791, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s constitution was adopted. It was the first constitution in modern Europe and second in the world, following the American one. It was a significant achievement of the Polish Enlightenment thinkers.
May 3 was established as a holiday only days after the constitution was passed by the Grand Sejm (Polish Parliament). It was later suspended for many years due to the country’s partitioning, but was reinstituted after Poland regained its freedom in 1918. After World War II, in 1946, the communist authorities banned the holiday’s public celebration. The holiday was officially cancelled in 1951. Since 1990 the May 3 holiday has again been celebrated as an official statutory holiday in Poland.
Constitution Day is part of a holiday season known as Majówka, which also includes the May 1/Labor Day holiday. It is celebrated with military parades, spring concerts and family picnics. Many people also gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza) at the Piłsudski Square in Warsaw. The monument is dedicated to unknown soldiers who gave their lives for Poland.
When : Always the Monday after Easter
Dyngus Day is very popular in Poland, and in Polish communities across America. After the long Lenten holiday, Dyngus Day is a day of fun. And a little romantic fun. It is always celebrated on the Monday after Easter.
Dyngus Day Tradition:
There are all sort of ways for boys to meet girls. But, this one takes the cake.
Guys, on this day you get to wet the ladies down. Sprinkling or drenching with water is your goal. Chase after the ladies with squirt guns, buckets, or other containers of water. The more bold and gallant boys, may choose to use cologne. Hitting (gently, please) the ladies on the legs with switches or pussy willows is also common.
Yes ladies, you can strike back. Ladies , you get your revenge on Tuesday, when tradition has it that you throw dishes or crockery back at the boys. It has become increasingly popular for the ladies to get their revenge on Monday, tossing water back at the boys.
Note: Dyngus Day is also called Wet Easter Monday. Hmmmmm, I wonder why!?
Origin of Dyngus Day:
When exploring the roots of Dyngus Day, Historians point to the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko I in 966 A.D. Baptism with water signifies cleansing, fertility, and purification.
Somewhere along the way, the tradition of tossing water on the girls and hitting them with pussy willows evolved
from Holiday Insights
Palm Sunday niedziela palmowa is called also The Sunday of the Lord’s Passion niedziela meki Panskiej, Willow Sunday niedziela wierzbowa, Branch Sunday niedziela rozdzkowa orApril Sunday niedziela kwietna since it takes place usually in April (not this year of course).
Here are a few of the Polish Palm Sunday traditions:
There was a custom to bring to church a figure of Jesus Christ riding on a donkey while the spectators threw flowers and pussy willow branches. Carrying the figure of Jesus was a honorary function – In Krakow, the town councilors did this. This was usually accompanied by a procession from one church to another or from outside of the church to inside symbolizing the ceremony of Jesus entering Jerusalem. The Church banned this habit at the end of the 18th century because it was becoming too theatrical and full of pranks and it was accompanied by not very religious songs. Continue reading…
The next meeting of TPGS will be held on Saturday, March 21st from 10 am to noon. Meetings are held at St. Michael School, 420 Sandusky Street. This month’s speaker is Donna Christian. All are welcome!
The schedule for TPGS meetings for the remainder of the year is:
Saturday, April 18 – Monthly Meeting from 10am to 12pm – Show and Tell
My Trip to Poland by TPGS Members.
Saturday, May 16 – Special Event – Field Trip
Calvary Cemetery Tour featuring Prominent Poles
Saturday June 20 Monthly Meeting from 10 am – 12 pm
DNA presentation by Bob Smith
July 10 – July 12 LAGRANGE STEET POLISH FESTIVAL
July 26 – TPGS Annual Picnic at St. Michael’s
August 15 & 16 – Book Fair hosted by TPGS at the 577 Foundation
Saturday, September 19 Monthly Meeting from 10 a.m. – 12 noon.
Monroe County Library’s genealogy resources by Mary Vergowven
Michigan PGS website by Marlene Hardman
Saturday, October 17 Meeting from 10 a.m. – 12 noon – Polish Heritage Month
How many relatives have you met since you joined TPGS?
Polka with Paulette and Mel
Saturday, November 14 Monthly Meeting 10 a.m. – 12 noon. Meeting
TPGS Members’ Brickwall ancestors – revealed
Who are You? winner research presented
Saturday, December 5 TPGS CHRISTMAS PARTY from 12 noon – 4 p.m..
Cost $5/person. Meat will be provided
Members Last Name A-K Bring hot dish; L-Z Bring cold dish
Bring a gift for the exchange (Polish or genealogy related)
WORLD WAR II LOCAL HERO TO BE INDUCTED INTO OHIO MILITARY HALL OF FAME FOR VALOR
World War II hero Sergeant Alexander A. Drabik will be inducted posthumously into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor on April 24, 2015 in the State House Atrium, Columbus, OH.
Drabik was nominated by the Holland Springfield Spencer Township Historical Society (HSSHS), as he attended Dorr Street Elementary School and was a long-time Springfield Township resident. Honoring all who served their county is part of the Society’s on-going Veterans Project.
Drabik was the first soldier to cross the Remagen Bridge in Germany on March 7, 1945, which gave the Allies access to cross the Rhine River, then Germany’s largest defense barrier. He led 10 riflemen across the bridge, surprising the Germans that they forgot to blow up the bridge. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said the capture of the bridge shortened the war by six months possibly saved as many as 50,000 Allied lives. When Eisenhower became President of the United States, he invited Drabik and the 10 riflemen to the White House and told them he was forming the Society of the Remagen Bridgehead.
Before he was sent overseas, Drabik led a rescue a group of 120 men who were lost in the California brush during maneuvers.
Drabik received a tribute in the Congressional Record in 1993 and was a commander of the now-defunct Turanski-Van Glahn VFW Post 7372. There is an Ohio Historical Marker located on Wolfinger Road where he was born installed in 2011.
Space for the pierogi class on Saturday, March 28th is full. We are sorry to all who wanted to take this class but were not able to so we are going to schedule another class in October just in time for Christmas. PACT will announce the October date when it is finalized. Thank you to all who wanted to take the March class. We hope you will be able to attend the next one in October.