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MAIN Arrow to Christmas Christmas Arrow to Christmas in Europe Europe Arrow to Christmas in Poland Christmas in Poland

Wesolych Swiat - Merry Christmas in PolandA blend of religious fervor - and ancient supersitions - are the main ingredients for a warm and festive holiday season in Poland.

The szopka or nativity creche is often an integral part of Christmas observances in churches, as well as in homes, where plans are busily made throughout December for another important centerpiece of a Polish Christmas - the holiday feast.

Christmas Eve is when Poles gather for the main celebration, filled with wonderful traditions beginning with bits of straw laid down under the holiday table cloth as a reminder of Jesus' humble birth in a stable.

Next, comes the observance of Gwiazdka, or "little star" as the sky is carefully watched for the appearance of the first star of the night - in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem. The moment the star appears, families may begin the cermony of feasting, or wigilia, deriving its name from the old Latin, "to keep vigil".

szopka, Polish nativity creche
Polish nativity creche


Dinner begins with a special rice wafer called oplatek, which is is broken into pieces and shared by all. Next, the old custom of seating an even-number of people around the holiday table (lest bad luck befall someone) is still followed by some families, who also may arrange for a seat to be left empty for a wanderer in need, or in remembrance of a deceased relative.

The customary 12 dishes of Polish Christmas are usually served as a symbol of the 12 apostles, and include generous helpings of the traditional carp, borscht, soup wild mushroom, perogies, pickled herring, and noodles with poppy seeds.

Any number of desserts may also be on the menu, including a traditional cwibak (Christmas fruit cake), piernik (honey cake), and baba rum.

More information about Christmas in Poland around the Web:

Christmas in Poland
- Check out a wonderful overview of Polish Christmas customs and superstitions including the Christmas feast, the Crech, and traditional carols.

Traditional Polish Christmas Eve (Wigilia) Dinner Recipes - The entire feast with recipes and instructions.

Polish Christmas Traditions: Cracow - Here's a contemporary view of Christmas razzle dazzle in the capital city with more on Christmas traditions throughout Poland.

also see -> Christmas Cookie Recipes | Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas Recipes
| Christmas Trees

Santa Claus


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