Christmas in Poland is the most important holiday. Before Christmas Eve there are 3 weeks of preparation, which we call Advent. This religious time is full of spiritual preparations and this year starts on the last Sunday of November. It ends on Christmas Eve. This time is an opportunity to forgive and give thanks.
In every Polish house all of the family members are involved in these preparations, which include cooking, cleaning and decorating the Christmas tree together. We can surely say that the best part is planning and buying presents for the loved ones.
During the Advent every Catholic is going to Rorate Mass in church. This spiritual time creates an amazing atmosphere with candles and lights, especially by children, who make handmade lanterns. Some people have Advent Resolutions, for example they don’t drink alcohol or eat sweets during these four weeks.
On Saint Nicholas Day most of the children get an Advent Calendar. It’s a box in the shape of the house with December day numbers written on the doors. If you open the door, you will find a piece of chocolate, and all of them are different! The challenge is to eat just one piece of chocolate each day. Will you be that patient and won’t eat all of them in one day? Check yourself
6th December is the day when St. Nicholas comes to us. This tradition is an attraction for the youngest kids. In the morning they find small gifts in their shoes, In the morning they find small gifts in their shoes, which must be cleaned in the previous evening. Usually they find sweets. And they must be polite all year, because Nicholas always looks at them.
In big cities you can find the Christmas Markets full of local food, handmade gifts and the smell of gingerbreads. This more and more popular tradition starts usually at the end of November and ends in the last days of December. It's a great opportunity to buy Christmas gifts, taste mulled wine and take a walk with family or friends. Feel the Christmas spirit!
Some people sent Christmas cards with new year’s greetings, it’s a tradition, which is really nice. Nowadays a lot of people send emails instead of cards or just text messages by phone or social media. On the internet there are many prepared wishes or pictures, which can be sent viral.
The second half of December is the time that everyone is meeting with their friends, family or workmates. At the workplaces and schools there are gatherings to celebrate Christmas by talking, eating and giving presents to each other. There is a possibility you won't know who gave you a present because of an organized draw. Employees' kids in the workplace organize Christmas plays by giving gifts to them from Santa Claus.
Polish Christmas lasts three days. It begins on 24th December and continues for two more days. We should see 12 dishes on every table on Christmas Eve without any meat. Preparing the dishes takes many days, for example gingerbreads are made one or two week earlier, before baking. Homemade pierogi (dumplings) need big preparations and putting our hearts in them. If you want to eat them for dinner, you should do it earlier.
Christmas Eve is only the beginning. On the 25th December families visit each other, eat a lot of food together, drink wine and sing carols. On this day everyone goes to church too. On the 26th is the last opportunity to spend time with relatives on eating and talking.
For Church 25th December is the most important day in throughout year, but for polish families it’s the Christmas Eve, which has the most number of traditions. For many people this is the only time that they can spend it with their family.
Christmas in Poland is full of magic, love and kindness. If you want to feel this atmosphere, join our tours!