Polish Christmas. How we celebrate Xmas in Poland?
We really think Polish Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. And we can’t imagine being anywhere else than in Poland during Christmas. It’s our home, our beautiful country and the place where our family live. Few days ago we visited Lapland, the home of Santa Claus. And we still think that there is no better place than home to spend Christmas :).
This year we are spending Christmas Eve at Patryk’s parents. After Wieczerza Wigilijna (Christmas Eve Suppper) we are going to Karolina’s parents (it’s more than 6 hours driving, so it’s going to be a LONG night).
Today, we want to tell you about Polish Christmas. Our customs are special and different from most countries on the world. So… shall we begin? 🙂
1. Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve is different in every family. My family (Karolina) believe that the way you spend your Christmas Eve determines your whole year. So we are trying to be calm, relaxed, not fight with each other and of course… go shopping! If you spend money on Christmas Eve, you’ll do it all year (–>you will be wealthy enough).
In Patryk’s house Christmas Eve is normal day until the evening. Christmas starts when it’s dark outside.
The most important thing during the whole day is Wieczerza Wigilijna (Christmas Eve Supper).
It begins when the first star appear on the sky.
According to Polish Christmas tradition, we should have 12 dishes during the supper (it brings luck for every 12 months of the upcoming year). Everybody should try everything. The most common meals are pierogi (dumplings), barszcz z uszkami (bortsch with little mushroom dumplings) and of course fish (carp).
It’s Polish Christmas custom to leave one free table setting for unexpected guest.
At the beginning we pray and share the Christmas wafer (little flat bread) with every member of our family.
Usually, there are more than 15 people at Wieczerza Wigilijna (Christmas Supper) so it takes some time until everybody wish every single one of family member merry christmas. All wishes are personal. It’s the time when we say sorry for our mistakes and say thank you for everything what was good.
Christmas Waffer is something unique in Poland, Lithuania and Slovakia. Read more about it here.
After Wieczerza Wigilijna, we are unpacking gifts that we found under the Christmas Tree.
Polish people don’t eat meat and aren’t supposed to drink alcohol at Christmas Eve. It’s our custom to fast all day and start eating in the evening.
We always put some hay under the tablecloth to commemorate the birth of Christ in the stable.
Most of Poles go to midnight mass (Pasterka). It lasts at least 1,5 hour. Young people after the mass, play pranks on their neighbors by taking off gates from their hinges.
We believe Christmas Eve is the best day of the whole year. It’s magical day… some Poles even say that animals can speak at Wigilia :).
2. Christmas Day.
At Christmas Day, we are going to the mass and spending time with our family.
3. Boxing Day.
It’s the same in the Boxing Day. It’s the second day of Polish Christmas. Nobody works and we all spend time with our families.
In the evening, young people usually hang out and party!