In Poland, we celebrate a very traditional Christmas. Usually, the day we celebrate on is December 24th, Christmas Eve. After that, there are two days of Christmas, which are also celebrated.
On Christmas Eve, the whole family usually cooks throughout the day. We have thirteen different dishes—like barszcz, a beet soup; pierogi, a type of dumpling, usually stuffed with mushrooms; and fish—but never meat. Christmas Eve is still technically a day of “fasting,” a part of Advent, the preparation time for Baby Jesus’ coming. We set an extra seat at the table, which symbolizes the place we set for Jesus in our hearts. Before we eat, we pray over our food and read the Gospel Christmas story according to Mark. We also share the Opłatek, which is a thin wafer we give to one another as we wish each other good luck in the coming year.
My family unwraps presents after the meal, and then goes back to eat dessert. Once it gets late, we head out to Church for a midnight Mass.
For my family and many other Polish families, Christmas is a special time of faith, family, and celebration. It’s especially important to me as a Polish girl living in the US that we stick with our traditions when everyone else around us celebrates so differently.
I hope you enjoyed reading about a typical Polish Christmas, and I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas, no matter how you celebrate.
Paulina Czarnecki lives in Michigan with her brother and parents. She is in high school. She has been writing since second grade and telling stories since long before that. Paulina enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends. She works hard to achieve her goals.
Check out her own blog at http://www.paulinaczarnecki.wordpress.com! She’d love to see you there!