Thursday, March 30, 2017
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In The Spirit of Christmas

szopkasThe Christmas Spirit has always been strong among the Polish people. Even in the harshest and most dismal of times it has been present in their hearts.

In this 21st century land of plenty, we should remember that in the old days, poverty was more widespread. But even the poorest Polish families, in Poland and the U.S., managed to make the Christmas season a special time. If they could not afford to buy fancy decorations or the materials with which to make them, simple scraps of paper were fashioned into ribbons or ornaments. It may have meant weeks or months of scrimping and saving to afford special treats or gifts for the holiday, but somehow they did it.

Read more: In The Spirit of Christmas


Polish Christmas FAQ

1. Is it true that Poles do not really sing Christmas Carols until the Christmas Day?

Yes, Poland is mainly a Catholic country. Roman Catholic Church observes Advent. Advent is a time of fasting and restricted entertainment. There are no Christmas parties before Christmas season in Poland. However there are few occasions in time of Advent when the restrictions of Advent are loosen a bit: St. Andrew night (Andrzejki) on November 30, St. Barbara Day - celebrated as mining feast, December 4 and St. Nicolaus night on December 6th.

Read more: Polish Christmas FAQ


Polish Star Christmas Story

This is an excerpt from Jadwiga's Crossing novel devoted to Polish immigration to America. The story was told to the children to keep their patriotic feelings alive during the time when Poland lost its independence.

Everyone knows that in the beginning the only stars in the sky ere the ones God created for Himself and His angels to see. They were very high in the sky, and no one living on the Earth could see them.

Read more: Polish Star Christmas Story


Kolendy - Polish Carols

In America, Christmas music is often played in stores right after Halloween or the week before Thanksgiving. It is not heard in Poland until after the Christmas Vigil Mass. Bells are rung, shots are fired, and carols are sung after midnight.

Read more: Kolendy - Polish Carols


Traditions of Polish Christmas - Timetable

Polish and American Christmas do not overlap in their timing. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Poland, so there is not any special day, such as the day after Thanksgiving, that marks the beginning of the Christmas season as in America. Poles do not really start celebrating Christmas until Christmas Eve, but then the Christmas season in Poland finishes much later than in America. The Christmas season in Poland starts with the end of Advent (Christmas Eve) and finishes with Candlemas on February 2.

Read more: Traditions of Polish Christmas - Timetable


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