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Christmas in Poland Advent Christmas in Poland is preceded by Advent, the period of preparation for the celebration of Nativity of Jesus. It starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25.

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Christmas in Poland is preceded by Advent, the period of preparation for the celebration of Nativity of Jesus. It starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25.

During Advent people attend special church services called ‘Roraty’. They are held every morning at 6 a.m. Children have special lanterns for that occasion.


On this day families decorate Christmas tree with glass balls, paper stars, toys, nuts, apples and ornaments made from eggshells, coloured paper and straw and prepare dishes for the supper.

When the first star appears in the sky, people take their seats at the Christmas table. They do not forget about leaving an empty place for an unexpected guest. The table is covered with white tablecloth and hay is spread beneath. It as a reminder that Christ was born in a manger.
Before the supper , people pray, read the extract from the Bible concerning the nativity of Jesus and then share the wafer with everyone else, wishing luck and joy in the coming year.

The breaking of the wafer, known as Oplatek, is a symbol of the unity with Christ.

After sharing the wafer, the supper begins. Traditionally, there should be 12 dishes-as a symbol of the Twelve Disciples.

Red borsch with small dumplings, sour cabbage with mushrooms, carp, herrings and poppy-seed cake are universal Polish Christmas foods. An interesting dish is kutia-nuts, honey, almonds and cooked wheat and dried fruits. Often there is compote of dry fruits.


Red borsch

Cabbage with mushrooms


Popppy-seed cake

After the supper people open their gifts and then sing carols. In areas of the country carolers may walk from house to house, receiving treats along the way.
There is also a custom of attending the traditional midnight mass, known as Shepherd’s Mass (Pasterka).
It is still believed that whatever happens on Christmas Eve has an impact on the following year. If people quarell, it foretells a quarrelsome and troublesome year.If, in the morning the first visiting person is a man, it means good luck, if a woman, one might expect misfortune. Everyone, however, is glad when a mailman comes by, for it means money and success in the future.
christmas day
Christmas Day

On 25 and 26 December, people go to visit each other, always in family. And these two days generally pass at the table because all food so preciously prepared should be consumed.