Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas - Polish Traditions

Merry Christmas! / or Happy Holidays!,
Today (like I have promised in previous post) I would like describe you Christmas traditions in my country - Poland.
In Poland Christmas Eve is a day first of fasting, then of feasting.The feast begins with the appearance of the first star; there is no meat in the feast, and it is followed by the exchange of gifts.

The following days is often spent visiting friends. In Polish tradition, people combine religion and family closeness at Christmas.On Christmas Eve, so important is the first star of the night that it has been given the affectionate name of "little star" or Gwiazdka, in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem. On that night, children watch the sky hoping to be the first to cry out, "The star!" The moment the star appears, people can start eating. According to tradition, bits of hay are spread beneath the tablecloth as a reminder that Christ was born in a manger. In some places on the table we prepare an empty place for a wanderer who may be in need.

The meal begins with the breaking of the opłatek (this is kind of very thin wafer - like on photo)Everyone at the table breaks off a piece and eats, then we share a piece with each family member giving good wishes for the following year.On the table should be twelve dishes, as a symbol of the Twelve Apostles.Poppy seed cake, beet soup, prune dumplings, carp, herring and noodles with cabbage and mushrooms are universal Polish Christmas foods.On the table should be twelve dishes, as a symbol of the Twelve Apostles. Traditionally, there is no meat eaten on Christmas Eve. Often there is compote of dry fruits.

The remainder of the evening is given to stories and songs around the Christmas tree. In the midnight Catholic go on Christmas midnight mass.

Many churches in Poland in Christmas time organize crèche which present history of Saints Family.
One of the largest creche in Europe (built inside church) is creche in Franciscans' basilica in Katowice - on the last one photo. For building of creche were used a lot of figures (the oldest are even 130 years old)and 2 kilometers of cables You may admire this crèche to 2 February.


  1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  2. Thanks, Your post and photos about Sidney Town Hall - Christmas Lights - are very good !
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Thanks for visit my site.
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  4. Hello, hope you had a great Christmas. Keep in touch :)

  5. Thanks for your sharing your Christmas traditions. I've learned a lot this morning.

  6. Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions and sharing history of your country

  7. Bardzo fajny blog. Pozdrawiam poświątecznie i życzę wszystkiego dobrego w Nowym Roku:)

  8. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

  9. hi! i love reading you posts and the photos. You have a great christmas tradition, just like here in my place we also have midnight christmas mass and after that, we feast then exchange gifts. for those who have the talent of singing, he/she will sing christmas carol in front of the entire family.

  10. Came over from another blog, and glad I did. I have been in Poland -camping near Warzawa.

    I love Christmas traditions

    -what do you mean with "creche"? From Holland originally, creche is used when they mean a center or room where they take care of the 2 -4 year olds. But you don't mean that, do you?