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Traditions connected with celebration in Poland
Poland The Republic of Poland is a country in central Europe. The total area of Poland is 312 679 square kilometres. Poland has a population of over 38 million people.
The Polish people pass for the nation that likes to celebrate and are attached to traditions and customs. The attachment to tradition can be seen during the time of celebrations of the most important religious feasts such as: Christmas, Easter or Corpus Christ procession and All Saints’ Day. Moreover, pilgrimages to holy places are also very popular. For Catholics it is The Monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, for Jews - the tomb of rabbi Elimelech in Leżajsk and for Orthodox Christians – Grabarha Sanctuary.
In calendar of state ceremonies the most important are: the anniversary of the restoration of independence in 1918, which is celebrated on 11 th November, and the anniversary of passing the first Polish Constitution on 3 rd May 1791. On these days people celebrate and organize ceremonies, parades, marches and festivals.
In Poland people also celebrate holidays that are different in a character. They include: Women’s Day on 8 th March, Mother’s Day on 26 th March, Granny’s Day on 21 st January, Grandpa’s Day on 22 nd January, Father’s Day on 23 rd June, Boy’s Day on 30 th September and Children’s Day on 1 st June.
Among likeable and cultivated traditions it is worth to mention about Andrzejki – the last festival day before Advent with fortune telling. The most popular fortune – telling method is by pouring hot wax into cold water and reading the created shapes.
Advent – Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. During this time children with lanterns participate in a Mass called: Roraty. Moreover, people place at their homes and churches the Advent wreath which is made from twigs of conifer. It symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent.
Santa Claus During Advent, on 6 th December we can meet Santa Claus with presents.
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated on 25 th December.
Christmas Eve In Poland Christmas begins from the Christmas Eve on 24 th December. It is the day preceding the anniversary of Jesus’ birth. On this day we serve traditional dinner as soon as the first star appears in the sky as the symbol of the sigh that led three wise men to birthplace of Jesus. The dinner begins with prayer and reading gospel of the birth of Jesus.
New Year The greeting of New Year and farewell of bygone year is strictly connected with the New Year’s Eve. This occurrence is celebrated with the glass of champagne and fireworks.
Epiphany –is a feast celebrated in honor of Three Kings. During this time priest visits worshippers at their houses in order to pray together with household members. Furthermore, once at home, they inscribe "K+M+B+" and the year with the blessed chalk above every door in the house, to provide protection against illness and misfortune. The letters, with a cross after each one, stand for names of the Three Kings in Polish - Kacper, Melchior and Baltazar.
Saint Valentine’s Day is observed on 14 th February each year. The day is an opportunity to bestow on each other with valentine’s gifts.
Fat Thursday is a traditional Polish feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and is associated with the celebration of Carnival. Traditionally it is a day dedicated to eating, when people meet in their homes or cafés with their friends and relatives and eat large quantities of sweets, cakes – especially icing doughnuts – in Poland called: pączki - and faworki. It is said that on this day people eat about 100 million doughnuts.
Easter is the central feast which begins with Palm Sunday and marks the end of Lent - a forty-day period of fasting and prayer. Due to the fact that Easter is the oldest and the most important Christian feast, it is celebrated solemnly.
Holy Thursday, is a holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles when Jesus lied down the sacrament of Eucharist. The next day – Good Friday – is devoted to silent prayer. The worshippers begin the vigil by the symbolic Jesus Christ’s tomb and end the wake on Holy Saturday just before the sun set.
Moreover Holy Saturday is also the day when we bless Easter food. Easter Sunday starts with a ceremonial Mass called Resurrection and bells-ringing procession with the holy sacrament. Later, among family members we share blessed food and eat lavish breakfast. After the meal children search for hidden presents.
Another day - Easter Monday – is celebrated as a holiday and dedicated to family meetings. Furthermore in accordance with polish tradition of śmigus-dyngus, on this day people pour water over each other.
The first day of spring falls on equinox between 21 st and 22 nd March. On this day we make a Marzanna effigy – the symbol of winter, illness and evil – and we burn it. Next we bring in a green branch – the symbol of spring.
Prima Aprilis – April Fool’s Day is celebrated on 1 st April and it is recognized as a day when many people play all kinds of funny jokes on friends, family members, neighbours, colleagues.
The Green Holiday or Pentecost is the name for polish holiday which occurs in May. The name for this holiday is different, depending on the region of Poland. In May we willingly meet with friends and enjoy beautiful weather.
Corpus Christi also known as The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ really present in the Eucharist. In cities, towns and villages worshippers become involved in an organised procession through the streets. During this feast people leave the Church and walk around the streets together stopping on route at various temporary shrines to pray.
Sobótka – Kupala day is in Poland also known as Sobótka. This feast is related to the summer solstice in the shortest night of the year. According to tradition girls would float wreaths of flowers often with candles on rivers and would attempt to gain foresight into their relationship fortunes from the flow of the flowers on the river.
15 th August In Poland the 15 th of August is the Polish Army Day, connected with the anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in 1920, also known as the Miracle upon the Vistula. The feast day of Assumption of Mary is celebrated annually on 15 th August. In Poland during the religious ceremonies related to this feast we bless a bunch of flowers. It was a belief that a blessed bouquet absorbs miraculous and medicinal properties. In the whole country this is a solemn feast, however, the biggest celebration takes place in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska where the scene of Virgin Mary’s assumption is held. In other regions of Poland this feast is related to Harvest festival.
Harvest Festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest It is farmers’ holiday celebrated as a achievement of their labour after all important field work has ended and crops have been gathered. Longing of our ancestors for polish bread express love and respect to homeland traditions. During the celebration farmers receives wreath which is a symbol of crop and affluence.
1 st November On All Saints’ Day we light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives. It is the day of reminisce about deceased.
Barbórka Miners' profession was always considered dangerous but prestigious therefore the Miners’ Day called "Barbórka” is celebrated in a spectacular way on 4 th December. The name of the feast originates from St. Barbara as a patron of miners. At this day in mines priests say mass and later miners meet on ceremonial dinner where traditional Silesian meals are served.
We welkcome to celebrate with us Przygotowanie prezentacji: J. Krupa, W. Śliwa, op. A. Nowak, B. Szpak