They are treated to food and drink and sometimes other gifts in return. The building most often replicated is St. Joseph holding the baby Jesus. An extra place setting is added in memory of those who are not able to join the family for Wigilia. And even families decades removed from their Eastern European roots share the wafers.
She then reciprocates the good wishes and shares the wafer with her husband. Christmas Wafer - Oplatek Sharing of the oplatek pronounced opwatek is the most ancient and beloved of all Polish Christmas traditions. After this has been completed, people return to their seats and the wafers are eaten. To be frank, it can be pretty dry and tasteless my family struggled to finish our wafer last year , but the sentiment is so sweet that it's worth the effort. Underneath her feet is the snake, a symbol of the victory over Satan through the life and resurrection of her Son, Jesus Christ. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century and spread to Poland quickly afterwards. It was the part of the szlachta 's Polish nobility culture and the custom had spread throughout the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and neighbouring countries. Designed with exquisite detail, the Our Lady of Grace statue makes a wonderful inspirational gift for Confirmation, a graduate, newlyweds, or for a mother. Some actors told the Christmas story with the help of wooden and cloth puppets -- and they often employed lots of humor and exaggeration in their renditions. You can find lyrics of popular Polish Christmas Carols here: While the meal is being cooked, the men and children decorate the Christmas tree and set the table. The eldest member holds a large wafer and breaks off a piece to begin the ritual. You can order Oplatki from PWA. Or you can see them at any time of the year in the Historical Museum of Krakow. If you are ever in Poland in December, be sure to visit Krakow and see some of the szopki displayed in the historic Market Square. Wishes for peace and prosperity are exchanged and even the pets and farm animals are given a piece of oplatek on Christmas Eve. She appeared many times after that, always dressed the same way. The tree will stay up at least through the Twelve Days of Christmas, which end on the Feast of the Three Kings on January 6th, and sometimes it stays up even until February 2nd, which is Candlemas Day and the official end of the Christmas season in the liturgical calendar. This continues until everyone at the table has a piece of the wafer. Early in the day, the women of the family start preparing the meal, which traditionally consists of twelve meatless dishes, and includes many kinds of fish, beet or mushroom soup, various dishes made from cabbage, mushrooms, or potatoes, pierogi, followed by dried fruit compote and pastries for dessert. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. At the start of dinner, just after grace, the male head of the household takes the wafer and expresses his hopes for his wife in the new year. Rosaries are comprised of a series of beads arranged on a chain or thread and each bead represents a single prayer. Mary's Basilica with its easily recognizable spires.
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