It is here again! Magical Christmas Time. Have you been lucky enough to participate in celebrations in Poland? If you ever have a chance this is how the tradition goes:
On Christmas Eve family gathers together to celebrate. According to the tradition dinner starts after an apperance of the first star. Before eating everyone shares opłatek – wafer and gives each others best wishes for the upcoming year. If there are any animals in the household, they should also receive a little bit for a good year. It is said that at midnight on Christmas Eve they become able to speak in human’s voice! We put a little bit of straw under the white tablecloth as a symbol of Jesus being born in a stable. An important and beautiful part of the tradition is definately leaving one empty seat and plate for an unexpected guest or a traveler in need. If a suprising visitor appears they can join the happy celebration.
Dinner is supposed to be compounded of 12 dishes, as there were 12 apostles. Because of the fast we are not allowed to eat meet. Instead we treat ourselves with fish. That’s why the main and most popular dish for dinner is Carp. Of course we have to mention pierogi that also can be eaten with beetroot soup called barszcz. Thirsty? You should have some compote made from fruits and dried plums (not the most favourite thing for children:).
We decorate the Christmas Tree in the morning Dcember 24 and all the gifts go under it. Children in Poland are very lucky as they get presents twice in December. Santa Claus comes to all children on 6th December but on Christmas Eve we give each other gifts as well. It is ok to open them after dinner and not the next morning. The only thing is, before geting to presents, tradition requires at least a little bit caroling:) Christmas carols are songs telling the story of Jesus being born and Nativity.
At Midnight people go to their local churches to participate in the Mass called Pasterka. It is a beautiful ceremony filled with Christmas spirit and sounds of carols.
Wherever and whoever You are spending your Christmas Time with this year we wish you a lot of happiness and many, many opportunities to travel.
To all Mosquitos out there: Merry Christmas!!!