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Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz

Dr. Jim MazurkiewiczJim Mazurkiewicz is a Texas native whose family originally settled in Washington County, Texas at the turn of the twentieth century. His family still owns and operates the family farm in Chappell Hill. He graduated from Waller High School and received a B.S. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and a Masters from Texas Tech University. Dr Jim is currently a Professor and Extension Specialist for Leadership Programs as TALL Director for Texas AgriLife Extension a member of The Texas A&M System and its statewide Agriculture Program. Jim takes great pride in his Polish heritage and plays Polish music on his concertina accordion.

Oczepiny Unveiling Of The Bride – Polish Wedding

Oczepiny Unveiling Of The Bride- Traditional Polish Wedding“Oczepiny” The unveiling of the bride: The unveiling of the bride is one of the oldest and the most important of Polish wedding customs. This tradition is still the mainstay of many polish brides representing a rite of passage from a young women to married a woman. On command by the Druzba, the band performs a drum roll, and the bride is placed on the dance floor in a chair facing the guests. The bridesmaids, the mother of the bride, godmother, grandmothers, groom’s mother stand at the bride’s side and hold lit candles encircling the bride as the mother of the bride removes the bridle veil from the bride’s head as music is played. Usually, “Serdeczna Matko” Beloved Mother is performed and then a Polish Wedding Oberek. During the music, a czepek or cap/bonnet is placed on the brides head and at this moment, the bride is officially considered a married woman. In addition, the bride is given a broom and an apron to wear for the Dollar Dance to follow this tradition.

Czepek Dance – Polish Wedding

Czepek Dance - Traditional Polish Wedding“Czepek Dance” Dollar Dance: This tradition follows the unveiling ceremony and everyone will get a chance to dance with the bride and groom for a donation. For that donation, you get a jigger of wine, whiskey or candy and a chance to dance with the bride or groom. It is bad luck if you do not dance with the bride or groom at a Polish wedding. It is customary for the groomsmen to encourage all the women and the brides maids to encourage all the men in the crowd to pay for a dance with the bride and groom. They work the hall and engage the guests to take part in this lovely and old tradition. There are other names for this dance such as dollar dance, money dance, brides dance, wine dance and/or the bride and groom dance. In the olden days, the dollar bills were pinned to the brides dress after each person danced with her. Today, a few bills are pinned to her apron to symbolize the jester and the money is put in a bowl and collected at the table. The money collected was passed on to the newlyweds to take on their honeymoon. Again, rarely enough money is collected for a honeymoon, but the symbolism is still relevant. When the dance comes to the end, the groom pulls out his wallet and buys the last dance!

Let’s Have Fun At Polski Wesele – Polish Wedding

Let's Have Fun - Traditional Polish Wedding“Let’s Have Fun – Dancing”: Dancing by the bride and groom, the parents of the bride and groom and guests at the reception. Music and singing by Brian Marshall and the Texas Slavic Playboys and Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz on the concertina playing Siwi Kon and other Polish favorites along with some Texas country music. Everybody had a good time.

Polski Wesele – Polish Wedding

Polski Wesele - Traditional Polish Wedding

The wedding is one of the most important family celebrations in Polish culture. For centuries most marriages in Poland took place starting at the beginning of September and continued through fall and winter except for the holy weeks of advent and lent. This was at a time when the all-important harvest and field work was completed and food was at abundance to hold and host a major celebration as a wedding. The Polish word for wedding “wesele” comes from the word “wiselic’ sie” meaning to rejoice, and that is indeed an appropriate for an occasion traditionally associated with joy and celebration.

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