Monday, May 22, 2017
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Attractions after Christmas Eve: Nativity Scenes, Szopka, Silvester and Polish Bison

During the first and second day of Christmas usually shops are closed also the main museums, theatres and so on do not work. But there are still many attractions to see.

In Krakow there are hundreds of churches in the downtown, almost all in a walking distance one from the other. People just walk from the church to church and visit the nativity scenes in numerous churches in the old town especially since the nativity scenes are not open to the public until the Christmas day.

Read more: Attractions after Christmas Eve: Nativity Scenes, Szopka, Silvester and Polish Bison


Christmas in Poland: Christmas Eve (Wigilia)

Everybody, especially kids love White Christmas. Usually their dream comes true. According to the folk tradition - if the Christmas is "black" (without snow) - the Easter will be white. Who wants white Easter instead of White Christmas? Nobody...

Before Christmas Eve farmers bless the fields with a holy water and place crosses made of straw in four corners of their fields. I still remember my grandma doing that. The celebrations of Christmas Eve cannot start before the first evening star (Polish: "gwiazda") appears in the sky. Therefore Christmas is also called "Gwiazdka" (the little star).

Read more: Christmas in Poland: Christmas Eve (Wigilia)


Food during the Christmas Eve (Wigilia)

Many Christmas dishes have very old tradition. Some dishes are made out of products that are not very common to use anymore. Simply, many dishes are eaten just once a year, for Christmas! Partly because the preparation of dishes is time-consuming, partly because some products for preparation are not easy to purchase in any other time during the year (for instance carp fish).

Read more: Food during the Christmas Eve (Wigilia)


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)


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