23/12/2015

Christmas in Poland

Following on from yesterday post about traditions in Iceland...

Heres a piece from Krystian from Zezuzulla (Great Brand we're stocking) about their traditions...

Christmas is something that changed a lot in Poland in the last three decades.

30 years ago it was all about tradition, family, religion, food and gifts.For kids - of course in the opposite manner: gifts, food, family and tradition plus religion, eventually.

Yeah, that didn't change much, actually.

There was 12 main meals - and plenty of everything.
Dumplings with sour cabbage and mushrooms, carp, bread, buckwheat with fruit stew, herrings, boiled potatoes, vegetable salad with mayonnaise, beetroot soup with ravioli (called small-ears in Poland actually), beaten sour cabbage with peas, poppy-seed cake, cheesecake and drop scones.Of course, these list might vary, depends on the region and home-dwellers tastes.Everything was self-made from backstreet goods that all the neighbours shared.
There was snow almost every year and everyone had the same Christmas tree decorations.
Preparations took forever - there was no time to do this, but everybody was cleaning windows in the middle of the winter, just to show that they care.The homes were full of people, feasting together, at least this one time a year, for good.
Nobody sits at the table before the first star has been shown.After that, the eldest host read a passage from the Bible and give permission to start the dinner.When it was finished, everyone shared communion wafer and give regards to each other individually.
There were also some another interesting properties of communion wafer - it was only time when animals could eat it and after that, it was believed that they'll be able to speak human language just that one night.
Then, at last, there was the opening of the gifts and a bit later - for those that were interested - midnight Mass in a church.


Now Christmas is not very alike.
There is little (if there is at all) religion in it and less food and tradition.People treat it rather as a possibility for taking a break from their fast-paced lives and want to slow down and relax.Some of them go on vacations, some of them visit families, but there are also many that just want to have a few slow days with their closest loved ones.
It's more intimate and less spectacular than 30 years ago.
Nobody wants to throw out good food, so 12 meal-dinners are not so very often in this case either.But there must be at least: beetroot soup with ravioli, herrings, vegetable salad with mayonnaise and poppy-seed cake.
People are waiting for the first star to sit to table, but religious implications are much more scarce than some time ago.
The overall atmosphere is also much more loose, and, because of that, gifts are unwrapped much faster.After Christmas Eve people are visiting their friends and family with a quiet few-people meetings.

In short - the Christmases are easier nowadays.

In modern Polish Christmas, family is still in the centre of the event, but oriented more on children and according to their needs.

That's very cool about it, because those little fellows are what the humanity will become soon.
And that's why making it all for them really matters.