ChristmasChristmas in Poland is on 24th December.Everybody has Christmasholiday and spends this time with their family. There are a lot of lights andthe buildings are beautifully decorated. Eve in Poland is wonderful. TheChristmas Eve derives its name from the Latin word vigilare, which means towatch or keep vigil.
On Christmas Eve the first star is so important that it has been given theaffectionate name of "little star" in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem.On that night, everybody watches the sky anxiously, hoping to be the first tocry out, "The star!" The moment the star appears, people start eating.Families unite for the most carefully planned meal of the year-the ChristmasEve supper.
According to tradition, bits of hay havebeen spread beneath the tablecloth as areminder that Christ was born in a manger.An even number of people must be seatedaround the table or tradition statessomeone may die in the coming year. Insome places an empty place setting is leftat the table for the Baby Jesus or awanderer who can come in need or if adeceased relative should come and wouldlike to share in the meal. The meal beginswith the breaking of the wafer. Everyone atthe table breaks off a piece and eats it as asymbol of their unity with Christ.
There should be 12 dishes - as asymbol of the 12 apostles. Poppyseed cake, beet soup, prunedumplings, carp, herrings andnoodles with poppy seed areuniversal Polish Christmas foods.There is no meat eaten onChristmas Eve. There is compote ofdry fruits. People sing carolsaround the Christmas tree andexchange gifts. After this, people goto church to attend the ChristmasMidnight Mass.
Popular dishes SAUERKRAUTFISH WITH STEW WITH MEATVEGETABLESHERRING BEETROOT HOTCHPOTCH SOUP WITH RAVIOLISDUMPLINGS FILLEDWITH SAUERKRAUT CARPAND MUSHROOMS
Popular cakesFRUIT CAKE CHEESECAKE GINGERBREADPOPPY-SEED CAKE YEAST-CAKE
Beautifully lit Christmas trees areplaced in all public places, insidechurches and at homes. Traditionallythe trees are decorated with bells,chains, glass balls, shiny apples,walnuts, beautifully wrapped chocolateshapes and many homemadedecorations and candles. On the topof the tree there is a star. In manyhouses, sparklers are hung on thebranches of the trees giving it amagical air.
The following day is often spent visiting family.Poland is a land of intriguing traditions. Its peoplehave always combined religion and family closenessat Christmas time.
All Saint’s DayIt is a traditional Polish holiday to commemorate all saint people. However, on this andon the following day we also commemorate our relatives who are dead. In Polandpeople usually travel to the places, where their relatives are buried. They go to thecemetery and clean the graves. Moreover, they decorate the graves with candles andbunches of flowers. On the All Saints Day, all families gather on the cemeteries. Theypray and attend a mass together. The mass is celebrated for the salvation of the dead.They bring flowers and candles and lay them on the graves of the relatives. This istime to think about those, who are no longer with us. It is usually quite sad. After themass, people meet their families in their houses. They eat a meal together and talkabout those, who died.
EasterEaster is the most importantreligious celebration in the Christianliturgical year. Christians celebratethe Resurrection of Jesus aftercrucifixion.
Easter is a moveable celebration because it is not fixed in relation to thecivil calendar. Easter falls at some point between late March and late Aprileach year (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity), following thecycle of the moon. Easter is on the first Sunday after the first fourteenthday of the moon (the Paschal Full Moon).
In Poland, preparations for Easter begin one month before the main day ofthis holiday. On these days people, especially young children, go to churchto confide in order to clear and prepare their souls to the main ceremony.Then, one week before Easter there is a special day called Palm Sunday.Catholics gather in church with palms in their hands to have them ordainedby the priest and after that put on the Easter table at home as a sign of thearrival of Christ to Jerusalem 2000 years ago.
The atmosphere of Easter is visible everywhere in Poland - in the decorationsof the shops, in the windows of the apartments in the city. The typicalelements of Easter are very colorful and happy - painted eggs, Easter statuesof lambs, bunnies - the symbols of life.
Easter cakeEaster shortcake
People wish one another “Happy Easter” (“Wesołego Alleluja” in Polish) andhave an occasion to talk together, too. Easter Monday is celebrated by thePoles only. That day everyone can expect to be drenched with water, at leastonce. Generally speaking, Easter is the time of happiness and rebirth.
Traditional outfits in PolandTraditional outfits in Poland used to be an importantpart of village life and also a significant element ofculture. They depend on many factors: geographicregion, history, economy, tradition and individualaesthetic needs of its creators and users.
Traditional regional outfits usuallyserved as a representative function,emphasizing the importance of thevarious events. In some parts ofPoland people still wear traditionalcostumes on special occasions. Hereare some examples: