Presentation on theme: "Christmas in Poland. In Poland Christmas is the most important festival in the whole year. Our traditions date from the 10th century, since we became."— Presentation transcript:
Christmas in Poland
In Poland Christmas is the most important festival in the whole year. Our traditions date from the 10th century, since we became Christians. Christmas time is the best opportunity to meet our closer family and friends, often difficult or impossible during the rest of the year.
Roraty Traditionally, Advent is an important season in the Polish year, with special church services, known as Roraty, being held every morning at 6am. The four Sundays of Advent are said to represent the 4,000 years of waiting for Christ.
Christmas piernik Special tasks carried out during Advent are the baking of the Christmas piernik -ginger bread or honey cake, and the making of Christmas decorations. Pierniki are made in a great variety of shapes, including hearts, stars, animals and St Nicholas figures.
Christmas trees Beautifully lit Christmas trees are placed in all public areas, outside churches and at homes. Traditionally the trees are decorated with shiny apples, glassballs, beautifully wrapped chocolate shapes and many homemade decorations, fairy lights or candles. On the top of the tree there is a star or a glittering top piece. In many homes, sparklers are hung on the branches of the trees giving it a magical atmosphere.
Jaselka In Polish schools a few days before Christmas traditional manger scenes called Jaselka are performed by pupils. These are scenes which show little Jesus in a stable. It is a scene when Christ is born, and three kings come to the manger. The story, about evil king Herod, who was foreseen to loose his power from a child, so he ordered to kill all the children.
“ Nativity Scene ”
First star Christmas Eve, Wigilia, is an important part of the Polish Christmas, in fact, the most important rituals are celebrated on this day. Beginning on a day before Christmas Eve, a strict 24-hour fast is observed which ends with a huge Christmas feast. In honor of the star of Bethlehem, the meal cannot begin until the first star of night appears in the sky. Though Christmas in Poland is officially known as Boze Narodzenie, it is most often referred to as Gwiazdka, which means "little star."
Oplatek Once the star appears, a special rice wafer blessed by the priest called oplatek, is broken into pieces and shared by all. The oplatek is mostly shared with members of the family and immediate neighbors. As each person shares the “holy bread”, they would have to do two things: forgive any hurts that have occurred over the past year and to wish the person all the happiness in the coming year.
Dishes Oplatek is only the beginning. It is more symbolic than real food. Finally the meal can begin. Traditionally, there is no meat served during "Wigilia." Still, the meal is plentiful and luxurious. The feast consists of twelve courses, one for each Apostle. The table is always set with one extra seat in case a stranger or the Holy Spirit should appear to share the meal. We celebrate with at least twelve different vegetarian dishes like: mushroom soup, carp, cabbage with pea, stuffed dumplings, shells macaroni with poppy "makielki". In some homes - some hay is put under the tablecloth (it is connected with Christ's manger).
“ Piernik Staropolski ” – OLD POLISH GINGERBREAD CAKE INGREDIENTS: 600 grams honey (melted) 100 grams candied lemon peel 10 grams bicarbonate of soda 1 spoonful of rum 500 grams flour 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon and ground cloves salt 100 grams chopped almonds 2 eggs 300 grams dark chocolate 20 peeled almonds and candied cherries for decoration
INSTRUCTIONS pour the honey in a pan and make it warm (do not allow to boil) chop the lemon peel dissolve the soda in the rum and pour into a bowl add flour, cloves, cinnamon, salt, lemon peel and chopped almonds beat in eggs add melted and cooled honey mix everything very carefully with a mixer until smooth cover the bowl and put away for 24 hours take a baking tray (26x32 cm) and cover it with the baking paper roll out the dough, put on the tray and into the oven] bake 25 – 30 minutes in the temperature of about C cut the hot cake evenly into two parts spread plum jam on the bottom part put the second part on top of it melt the chocolate and spread on the cake decorate with almonds and candied cherries
Father Christmas After the supper everybody waits for Father Christmas who brings gifts. If there are little children in a family Father Christmas gives presents personally, when children get older Father often puts gifts under the Christmas tree.
Pasterka At midnight, children go to bed and elders attend "Pasterka," or Shepherd's Mass in church.
Next two Christmas days we spend meeting our family, relatives and friends. Still a very popular custom is singing carols during family meetings at homes. Christmas is one of those holidays which mean various things to different people.It can be a spiritual time, a family time, a time for giving, a time for partying or a time for just overeating... Most people find something to enjoy about Christmas whether they are Christians or not.