Socrates Comenius Project : On line school magazine
| Polskie tradycje bożonarodzeniowe
Polish Christmas Traditions
Christmas is the most important holiday for Poles. It falls on 24th -26th December.
Many traditions have been continued for centuries . Most of them are connected with the last day of Advent called ‘Wigilia’, (a Latin word meaning ‘vigil’, ‘waiting for something’). On that special day – on 24th December when the first star appears in the sky families get together and eat special supper, they share a wafer wishing the best to each other and forgiving everything what was wrong. This is a day of waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of inner transformation. Also, this transformation takes place literally when people clean up their houses, beat the carpets because everything must have a fantastic shine for this special occasion.
the house is ready people bring a Christmas tree and start to decorate
hanging glass balls and gingerbread figures of people and animals, and
course by putting candles on the tree. There are also chains made of
coloured paper or blot paper. At the top of the tree they usually put a
which symbolizes a
Here are some descriptions of how our pupils spend Wigilia day in their families:
Krystian, Class 6
At Christmas we share a wafer during the supper. We give all good wishes for Christmas to each other. When we sit by the table there is always one additional place setting for a guest. There are twelve dishes on the table as there were twelve apostles. There cannot be meat dishes. We eat salads and fish on that special day. We sit by the table and sing Christmas carols. Under the tablecloth some hay is put in memory of Jesus’s birth. After eating supper people put presents under the tree. At they go to the church to a special mess called ‘Pasterka’ to pray.
The oldest Christmas carols date beck to the Middle Ages. Now we sing carols and often there is a small crib put somewhere around. The tradition of building cribs was probably started by St Francis. Nowadays in churches there are always cribs with Mary, Jesus and Joseph surrounded by the three kings, animals and sometimes angels.
People also send Christmas cards
to each other. This is still a tradition even though it is disappearing
now probably due to internet communication which is faster and cheaper.
If you read this
article carefully we offer you a small QUIZ. You
can check how much you know about Christmas in
Answer the following questions. If you have problems, try to look for an answer in the text.
1. What happens when the first star appears in the sky?
2. When do Polish people celebrate Wigilia?
3. Do they eat meat on Wigilia day?
4. What do people ro in their houses before they start decorating the tree?
5. What decorations are there on the tree?
6. Why do they leave an additional place setting on the table?
7. What do we call the special mess?
8. What do they share during the Wigilia supper?
9. What can you always find in churches?
people sing Christmas carols