Christmas around the world
  
Poland
In this article

Poland


Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia! That is how we say "Merry Christmas" in Polish.

Christmas in Poland starts with Wigilia which is the very solemn Christmas Eve supper when the whole family gathers to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Wigilia is a family feast which begins after sunset, when the youngest child is sent to watch for the first star.

Earlier on during this day, my sister and I decorate the Christmas tree with glass balls, decorative chains, home-made gingerbread biscuits and old handmade decorations which once belonged to my grandmother.

Before sitting down at the table (where an extra place is set for the unexpected guest), everyone breaks the traditional wafer, a symbolic bread called oplatek, and exchanges good wishes for health, wealth and happiness in the New Year.

This is a deeply moving moment that often evokes tears. Dinner consists of at least 12 meatless dishes (for the 12 Apostles) and afterwards, lots of sweets such as poppy seed rolls or gingerbread.

After supper I play the piano and we sing old traditional Christmas carols together. They are cheerful, tender, and even humorous - typical of the Polish peasant or mountaineer. 

At midnight we go to Christmas Eve Mass called the Pasterka, which means the Shepherds Watch, because they were the first to greet the Baby Jesus. It is believed that on this holy night, animals can speak with human voices...


Christmas 2011 : Xmas ideas and inspiration from sofeminine.co.uk
Shila Meyer Behjat
12/22/2010
Rank this page: 

Article Plan Christmas around the world
Don't miss...
8th episode: Marie's secrets for getting back in shape after the party seasonTone your whole body with Jade!
Our Top 12 Favorite Food BlogsInterview with Eva Mendes: 2012
Latest… 18/01/2017
Guides
Videos
Managing money
Changing your name | How to change your name
Scrapbooking: making a scrapbook album like a pro
Work for yourself - get your small business online
See all Women in Focus guides
Income protection: What if you couldn't work?
See all Women in Focus videos
 

Don't miss out!

...Join our newsletter
Get the wewomen latest straight to your inbox
  OK
Find us on...