Christmas celebrations start in Poland on the 24th December – Wigilia Christmas Eve.
Christmas dinner starts as soon as the first star is spotted on sky (which is around 6-7 pm).
Before dinner, we share opłatek Christmas wafer and we wish all the best to each other.
We leave an extra seat for the unexpected guest – no one should be alone or hungry on Christmas Eve.
On the table there are 12 dishes (traditionally meat free) – they are meant to give you good luck for the next 12 months.
Poles rarely drink alcohol to their Christmas supper – at least, that’s what we say 😉 Instead, we drink compote made of dried fruit (such as prunes, apricots, pears).
We give gifts to each other right after Christmas supper. We do not need to wait until 25th December!
Presents are brought by Święty Mikołaj (St Nicholas/Santa Claus), but in some parts of Poland there are different present bringers: Dziadek Mróz (Ded Moroz, Grandfather Frost), Gwiazdor(Starman), Baby Jesus, Angel or Star.
Christmas Eve is finished by going to Church for a Paterka Midnight Mass service.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day are called the First Holiday and the Second Holiday. We usually visit relatives, eat the leftovers from the Christmas supper and sing carols.
Merry Christmas: Wesołych Świąt (vess–OH–wikh shvyont)