Christmas Eve Supper, known as Wigilia, is one of the most longstanding and broadly treasured of Polish ceremonies. In most of the homes, both among adherents or non-devotees, a conventional feast is praised and served on the table. It is covered with a white decorative spread.
According to tradition, the feed is generally positioned under the fabric covering the table. an additional unfilled spot is set for a sudden guest.
12 Dish Christmas Eve Supper
Custom directs that there should be twelve dishes. These Dishes are the same as the Twelve Apostles. The most energetically foreseen part of Christmas Eve, both for kids and grown-ups, is normally the trading of presents.
There are numerous traditions and establishments identified with the whole Christmas time frame. They incorporate caroling, just as the singing of musical occasional tunes called pastorałki.
Conventional Nativity plays are held and the specialty of building Christmas dens proceeds right up ’til the present time, particularly in the South of Poland. Possibly just the custom of Christmas fortune-telling, which in the past was considered as deciding the course of occasions for the whole coming year, has not endured.
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Christmas time is preceded by the 4-week religious season of Advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus.
Decorating Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are decorated shortly before Christmas. The decorations include glass balls, garlands, homemade ornaments, and candles, with a star or a tree topper at the top.
Christmas Eve is a day of fasting, followed by a sumptuous dinner. Dinner consists of 12 traditional dishes, which in most homes start with the appearance of the first star.
Polish culinary traditions vary depending on the region, but traditionally 12 dishes are served to reflect the number of Apostles. The dishes may include fish or red beetroot soup, carp, pasta with poppy mass, jellied fish, herring in cream or oil, or Kutia – a wheat pudding with poppy seed, honey, and nuts.
An extra seat for the unexpected guest
In most Polish homes, an empty seat with a set of dishes and cutlery is left for a traveler or a homeless person. So that they can join the hosts and celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve.
Just before the dinner, family members share the wafer and wish all the best to each other.
Hay on the table
According to this Christmas, tradition is on the decline, but some families are still there who put hay on the table covering it with the table cloth.
Gift-giving following Christmas dinner
One of the best-loved Polish traditions. Traditionally, it Santa Clause who brings gifts or, optionally, they are placed under the Christmas tree.
Christmas carols are serious and religious in character, yet it is customary to sing them after dinner.
Caroling on Christmas Eve
In some parts of Poland, especially in the countryside, there are groups of carolers going house to house, caroling, or performing a short nativity play.
At midnight following Christmas Eve, many Poles attend the Midnight Mass to commemorate the prayers of shepherds on their way to Bethlehem.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day, known here as the First and the Second Day of Christmas. These days are traditionally spent with relatives, even if it means traveling long distances to visit them.
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