24th December – Christmas
The well-known and widespread in Poland is a habit of leaving a space
at the table at Christmas Eve. This place is sometimes designed primarily for contingent guest. Zbigniew Kossak writes that "whoever becomes the holy Polish house at Christmas Eve, it will take this place and will be adopted as a brother." Leaving a free space at the table also express the memory of our loved ones who can not spend the CHristmas with us. The free space may also draw our memories of the deceased family member
In Poland Christmas Eve we are starting when on the heaven you can see first star. We are doing like this because of the remembrance of the Bethlehem Star, which was guiding Sages to place where Jesus was born. This tradition is very deeply rooted in Polish culture.
Before Christmas Eve houskeepers arrange general cleaning and washing. Also in countryside there is tradition to put in four corners of the main room sheaves of grains : wheat, rye, barley and oats. The table is covered with white cloth for resembling and altar and under it we are putting hay which was remainding hay at which was resting Devine Child. Also during Christmas Eve were given only meatless dishes in an odd number but very varied.
Breaking the Christmas wafer
The most important moment on Christmas Eve in Poland is the habit of breaking the Christmas wafer. This action follows the reading of the Gospel about birf if Devine Child and also giving best wishes for others.
Christmas Tree is an integral part of Christmas in Polish houses. This tree is designed to protect family form evil forces. Among the conifer twigs writhe chains, lights, straw and tissue paper which are remainder of snake tampter. The star on top of the Christmas Tree symbolizes the Bethlehem Star. The lights on the branches lit all night at Christmas Tree. They are the symbols of candles which are showing the way for souls of ancestors and allow them to keep warm in this special day. Christmas Tree also is clothed in gingerbread figurines of humans and animals and colorfull baubles. Under the tree we are putting gifts for our familly members especialy for children. Like this dressed Christmas Tree stay in our houses until Three Sages Day
Last editor: Justyna Czyżyk-Markiewicz