2Polish traditions and Christmas customs Christmas traditions in PolandFirst star, beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the wafer are the most important symbols of Christmas. The meaning of these symbols and traditions connected with them should be known by everybody
3First StarIt is the symbol of the first star, which appeared when Jesus was born.Thanks to it, the shepherds, Three Kings, could reach the place of thesaviour's birth. We are waiting for the first star today, which will appear in the sky. When it shines, then, according to tradition, we can sit downat the Christmas table and share the wafer.
4Wafer Its name is connected with the Latin word “oblatum” which means a gift.This is just a thin piece of crunchy wheatflour and water. There are Christmasscenes on it .The tradition of sharingbread derives from pagantraditions. Now it is aChristian custom, and we share the wafer before the Christmas supper. When we give wishes to each other, we shall forgive all the faults, and sit at the table with clear hearts.
5We put it under the white table-cloth on the table where we have Christmas hayWe put it under the white table-cloth on the table where we haveChristmas supper. It is a symbol of a place where Jesus was lying after his birth, a shed and hay.
6Christmas treeIt is usually decorated on Christmas Eve or on 23 December. Once these werethe ornamented sheaves of hay or branches. Then thecustom of bringing decorated trees into houses came to other Christian countries from Germany. Christmas decorations should be connected with symbols ofChristmas, and on its top people hang a big bauble. Once these were apples,now we have glass baubles. The green tree is the symbol of the Saviour’s birth.We can turn on the fairy light when the first star is in the sky.
7CarolsWe begin to sing them at Christmas table. These are the songs telling about the Lord's birth. Their name comes from Latin word “calendae”which meant the first day of month. First they were sung by the Romans, then Christians started to sing them. The oldest Polish Christmas carol is “Farewell, the King of Angels”, and it dates from about 1420
8Silent Night Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright Round yon Virgin Mother and ChildHoly Infant so tender and mildSleep in heavenly peaceSilent night, holy night!Shepherds quake at the sightGlories stream from heaven afarHeavenly hosts sing Alleluia!Christ, the Saviour is bornSon of God, love's pure lightRadiant beams from Thy holy faceWith the dawn of redeeming graceJesus, Lord, at Thy birth
9PresentsFor many people this is the most pleasant Christmas custom. And this iswhat is mainly associated with Christmas. This custom was connectedwith St Nicolas, today, we consider them as gifts from a little Jesus.
10which is clean and where the evil alternates with the good. ShedJesus was born there. It is a symbol of us as well. We are like a small shedwhich is clean and where the evil alternates with the good.However, Jesus comes to the sheds, that means that He comes to us and gives us hope, love and faith. He is born in us!
11Christmas Midnight Mass This is the traditional Mass which is celebrated at night from 24 on 25 December. It is a symbol of watching the Jesus’ birthplace by the shepherds. We take part in the mass with our families and this is the most important moment of Christmas time.