Dear Ladies and Gentleman, Happy Christmas!
Did you know…….?
Christmas in Poland is celebrated slightly differently than in other countries. On the 6th December each year Poland celebrates ‘St. Nicolaus Day’ (Santa Claus Day!) and the 24th December (Christmas Eve dinner). In Poland, Christmas Eve dinner is the most important celebration of the year. Although this meal is reserved for the closest family, it is customary to set an extra plate and seat for an unexpected guest or even a vagrant. Most of the dishes served are cooked specifically on this special day – and only once a year!
Christmas Eve dinner starts when the first star appears in the sky. Nothing may be eaten until all members of the family have broken the Christmas wafers (‘opłatek’) together and exchanged wishes for good health and prosperity. During the meal, all guests should taste a bit of everything. According to tradition, bits of hay are spread beneath the tablecloth as a reminder that Christ was born in a manger. Also, there is almost always an empty place left at the table.
Why does ‘Buchalterek’ eat twelve dishes during Christmas Eve dinner?
The tradition calls for twelve traditional courses to be served during the Polish Christmas Eve. This number is the symbol of the richness, twelve Apostles and represents the twelve months of the year. But in the past, dinner consisted of an odd number of dishes. The preparation of the traditional dishes takes a lot of time. Many restaurants and shops offer ready products, but Poles still prefer to cook traditional family recipes as they always taste better. Some specific dishes may differ from various regions, but many of them are universal.
These dishes consist of the following:
I Beetroot Soup with Ravioli ‘Red Borscht i ceps raviolis (uszka)’
II Mushroom Soup
III Christmas Eve Carp
IV Carp Jewish Style
VII Braised Sauerkraut
VIII Cabbage Rolls ‘Gołąbki’
X Old Polish Piernik
XI Dried Fruit Compote ‘Kompot z suszu’
XII Poppy Seed Cake ‘Makowiec’
I wish you and your family a happy and fun festive period and a prosperous 2018!