CHRISTMAS celebration in Poland 2017

CHRISTMAS celebration in Poland


In Poland, CHRISTMAS is officially known as Bozz Narodzenie, though it is most often referred to as Gwiazdka, meaning “little star.” CHRISTMAS Eve in Poland is a time of family gathering and reconciliation. The day before CHRISTMAS sees the women of the household cleaning and sweeping the entire house. The CHRISTMAS Eve supper is an event of great enjoyment and high anticipation. A traditional CHRISTMAS Eve supper consists of 12 dishes. Each dish has to be sampled carefully before laying out before the diners. An ancient belief has it that the more one eats during CHRISTMAS Eve supper, the more pleasure awaits him in the future.

An elaborate Polish CHRISTMAS tradition is “Wigilia”, a strict 24-hour fast that begins on CHRISTMAS Eve and ends with a huge CHRISTMAS feast. In honour of the star of Bethlehem, the meal cannot begin until the first star of night appears. Once it comes to view, a special rice wafer blessed by the parish priest called “oplatek”, is broken into pieces and shared by all. It is then that the meal can begin. The feast consists of twelve courses, one for each Apostle. The table is always set with a seat kept as extra in case a stranger or the Holy Spirit should appear to share the meal. This is an age-old tradition practiced in the country.

Another ancient tradition, observed before the invention of electricity, was the blowing out of candles after the consumption of the last supper dish and observing the direction that the smoke from the extinguished candles went. It was believed that if the smoke moved towards the window the harvest would be good that year, a family member would die if it went towards the door and a marriage of a family member would take place if it moved toward the stove. Customs to ensure a betrothal or good harvest were, in fact, a major part of rural Polish CHRISTMAS time traditions. Today, most of the old traditions are observed as fun and little importance is given to them.


CHRISTMAS Eve in Poland;


Many people in Poland celebrate CHRISTMAS Eve (Wigilia) on December 24. It precedes CHRISTMAS Day, December 25, which is a national public holiday to commemorate Jesus Christ’s birth.


Many people in Poland celebrate CHRISTMAS Eve (Wigilia) on December 24. It precedes CHRISTMAS Day, December 25, which is a national public holiday to commemorate Jesus Christ’s birth.

What Do People Do?

CHRISTMAS Eve, CHRISTMAS Day, and Boxing Day (or St Stephen’s Day) are important days that are celebrated in many Polish homes. CHRISTMAS preparations begin days before December 25. Houses and apartments are cleaned and adorned with decorations, including a CHRISTMAS tree. Traditionally, CHRISTMAS trees are decorated with candles or lights, ornaments made of glass or eggshells, and wrapped treats on December 24.

Special dinners consisting of traditional Polish dishes are prepared and eaten on CHRISTMAS Eve. Dishes include beetroot soup (barszcz), dumplings stuffed with mushrooms (uszka), a cabbage dish, as well as cakes, fruit, and pastries. It is not unusual for some hosts to prepare for an extra seat for an unexpected guest. It is also customary to break and give the CHRISTMAS wafer (oplatek), which is made of flour and water, to guests. Many people attend a special church mass at midnight between December 24 and 25.

Public Life

CHRISTMAS Eve is not an official public holiday but it is a busy time of the year for many commercial shops and businesses. It is also a busy on the road and for many transport services as many people travel home to be with their families for CHRISTMAS.


Many Christians in Poland and around the world start celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on CHRISTMAS Eve. It is also known as the Vigil of CHRISTMAS and is perceived as the culmination of the Advent season. CHRISTMAS Eve is the day before CHRISTMAS Day and is associated with celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth, although his actual birth date has been disputed among many scholars.


There are a number of traditional superstitious beliefs about the CHRISTMAS period. For example, it is believed that sheaves of wheat and rye, hay or straw under tables will bring good crops or fortune. This practice is also a reminder of the modest environment in which Jesus was born in. It is also said that animals could talk at a certain moment during CHRISTMAS Eve.






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