Christmas In Poland • 24.12 – Christmas Eve • 25.12 – Christmas Day • 26.12 - Second Day of Christmas
Christmas traditions in PolandFirst star, beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the wafer are the most important symbols of Christmas. The meaning of these symbols andtraditions connected with them should be known by everybody
First Star It is the symbol of the first star, which appeared when Jesus was born.Thanks to it, the shepherds and Three Kings could reach the place of the saviours birth. We are waiting for the first star today, when it shines, then, according to tradition, we can sit down at the Christmas table and share the wafer.
Wafer Its name is connected with the Latin word “oblatum” which means a gift. This is just a thin piece of crunchy wheat flour and water. There are Christmas scenes on it . The tradition of sharing bread comes from pagan traditions. Now it is aChristian custom, and we share the wafer before the Christmas supper.
Christmas Hay We put it under the white table-cloth on the table where we haveChristmas supper. It is a symbol of a place where Jesus was lying after his birth, a shed and hay.
Christmas tree It is usually decorated on Christmas Eve . Once these werethe ornamented sheaves of hay or branches. Christmas decorations should be connected with symbols ofChristmas, and on its top people hang a big bauble. Once these were apples,now we have glass baubles. The green tree is the symbol of the Saviour’s birth.
Carols We begin to sing them at Christmas table. These are the songs telling about the Lords birth. Their name comes from Latin word “calendae”which meant the first day of month. First they were sung by the Romans, then Christians started to sing them. The oldest Polish Christmas carol is “Farewell, the King of Angels”, and it dates from about 1420 .
Presents For many people this is the most pleasant Christmas custom. This custom was connected with St Nicolas. Today, we consider presents as gifts from little Jesus.
ShedJesus was born there. It is a symbol of us as well. Jesus comes to the sheds, that means that He comes to us and gives us hope, love and faith. He is born in us!
Christms Midnight MassThis is the traditional Mass which is celebrated at night from 24 on 25 December. It is a symbol of watching the Jesus’ birthplace by the shepherds. We take part in the mass with our families and this is the most important moment of Christmas time.