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For Polish people most important day is 24 December which is a Christmas Eve
In Poland, Christmas Eve is a day first of fasting, then of feasting. The Wigilia feast begins at the appearance of the first star. There is no red meat served but fish, usually carp. The supper, which includes many traditional dishes and desserts, can sometimes last for over two hours. It is followed by the exchange of gifts. The next day, the Christmas Day, is often spent visiting friends. In Polish tradition, people combine religion and family closeness at Christmas. Although gift-giving plays a major role in the rituals, emphasis is placed more on the making of special foods and decorations. The children often open their gifts and hand out the gifts for the adults from under the tree. The gift-giver in Polish tradition is the Gwiazdka – Saint Nicholas' feminine counterpart – or the Gwiazdor (masculine), which is either a Pagan tradition, or represents the little Star of Bethlehem. Saint Nicholas brings gifts on December 6th.
On the night of Christmas Eve, so important is the appearance of the first star in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem, that it has been given an affectionate name of "the little star" or Gwiazdka (the female counterpart of St. Nicholas). On that evening, children watch the sky anxiously hoping to be the first to cry out, "The star has come!" Only after it appears, the family members sit down to a dinner table.
According to tradition, bits of hay are spread beneath the tablecloth as a reminder that Christ was born in a manger. Others partake in the practice of placing money under the table cloth for each guest, in order to wish for prosperity in the coming year. Some practice the superstition that an even number of people must be seated around the table. In many homes an empty place setting is symbolically left at the table for the Baby Jesus or, for a lonely wanderer who may be in need of food, or if a deceased relative should come and would like to share in the meal.
The supper begins with the breaking of the opłatek. Everyone at the table breaks off a piece and eats it as a symbol of their unity with Christ. They then share a piece with each family member. A tradition exists among some families to serve twelve different dishes at Wigilia symbolizing the Twelve Apostles, or perhaps, an odd number of dishes for good luck (usually five, seven, or nine).
A traditional Wigilia supper in Poland includes fried carp (usually people buy it when it is still alive kill it at home and prepare it and yes I did it this year already) and barszcz (beetroot soup) with uszka (ravioli). Carp provides a main component of the Christmas Eve meal across Poland; carp fillet, carp in aspic etc. Universal Polish Christmas foods are pierogi (dumplings) as well as some herring dishes, and for desert, makowiec (poppy seeds cake) or noodles with poppy seed. Often, there is a compote of dry fruits for a drink.
It is still believed that whatever happens on Wigilia has an impact on the following year. So, if a quarrel should arise, it foretells a quarrelsome and troublesome year.
Sounds good I like cod and wine :)
I will stay with some British and German beers (wish to have some Polish too) ;)
Everything Richard said plus I suppose its similar to how Chinese celebrate Spring Festival, as a time for family to come together again after being apart due to work, location etc with awesome old/new tv show and films being on the telly.
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