Monday, May 22, 2017
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Customs and Religion

Polish Christmas: Roraty

We cannot forget about religious aspect of preparations for Christmas.

A religious aspect of preparations for Christmas is very significant in Poland. Poles are mainly Catholics and this influence out Christmas tradition. People participate in the series of religious teachings during Advent Season which are finalized with confession. Even the biggest sinners are waiting in lines to confession before Christmas Eve.

One of the most beautiful ceremonies preparing for Christmas is a mass called 'roraty'.

Read more: Polish Christmas: Roraty


Christmas in Poland: St. Nicolaus Day (Dec. 6)

Polish name for 'Christmas' is 'Boze Narodzenie' (direct translation from 'God's birth') .

From religious point of view Christmas is considered the second important feast (after Easter) but it is definitively the biggest family gathering and reconciliation day during the year in Poland.

Christmas and St.Nicolas Days are not celebrated in the same time in Poland but three weeks apart.

St. Claus (called rather St. Nicolas) Day is celebrated on the December 6th, name-day of St. Nicolas. This is a day when St. Nicolas, in Polish: Sw. Mikolaj, is visiting all kids - some children in person during the evening, some secretly during night. In some regions of Poland only St. Claus was bringing gifts on the 6th of December. Gifts were not given under Christmas tree during Christmas!

There is one gift that almost all children in Poland receive from Santa.

Read more: Christmas in Poland: St. Nicolaus Day (Dec. 6)


St. Andrew's Night: A Tradition of Fortune Telling

There is a long tradition of fortune telling especially for non-married girls on the November 30th in Poland. We need to remember that every day has his patrons in Polish calendar. Since November 30th is under a patronage of St. Andrew the habit is fortune telling is called St. Andrew's Night, in Polish briefly Andrzejki. Similar traditions are celebrated by girls in Germany, Slovakia, Czech, Russia, Romania, Ukraine and even in Greece.

St. Andrew night was celebrated since the turn of XVI and XVII centuries. The main purpose of Andrzejki celebrations is to predict the future of unmarried girl, especially her prospects for a good marriage. The young bachelors used to have their fortune telling tradition on the night of St. Catherine (November 25th).

Read more: St. Andrew's Night: A Tradition of Fortune Telling


All Saints' Day in Poland

All Saints' Day in Polandn, November 1st,  is a holiday for everybody except of transportation and emergency services. In spite of its religious roots it was also observed during communistic times as a Day of Deceased. The traffic on the roads and streets is very high since almost everybody had to commute to reach the family's graves.

Read more: All Saints' Day in Poland


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