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Polish Christmas Traditions

Christmas arrives with great joy and fervor. Christmas in Poland is referred as Gwiazdka which means 'little star'. Christmas is the most festive holiday in Poland. There are lots of Christmas customs & traditions in Poland.
The Star of Bethlehem is a very famous image in the Polish Christmas. It is the first star of Christmas Eve, which marks the end of the Advent fast and ushers in the time of feasting.

Once the star appears, a special rice wafer blessed by the parish priest called oplatki, is broken into pieces and shared by all. Finally the meal can begin. Polish Christmas Food Tradition consists of twelve courses, one for each Apostle.

The table is always place with one extra seat in case an unfamiliar person or the Holy Spirit should appear to share the meal. The Star Man arrives attended by the Star Boys after supper.

They are clothed fantastically, as Wise Men or other figures from the nativity. The Star Man examines the children in their catechism and awards them with small gifts. The Star Boys sing carols and are given a treat for their corporation. All go to Pasterka, the midnight Mass of the Shepherds after the fun.

The Christmas tree, known as Choinka, is decorated with apples, oranges, candies and small chocolates wrapped in colorful paper, nuts wrapped in aluminum foil, hand-blown glass ornaments, candles or lights, thin strips of clear paper (angel's hair), and home-made paper chains on Wazila(Christmas) day.

Weather-forecasting is very famous during Christmas. Everything which happens on Christmas, including the weather, has an effect on the coming year. The weather on Easter and the entire next year supposedly depends on the weather on Christmas. Only a white Christmas is thought a real Christmas. So, every person is happy when there is fresh snow outside.