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Poland’s special day.

KRAKOW TOURS – Since early morning households have been buzzing with last minute preparations for the most festive supper of the entire year – Wigilia – eaten as the first star appears in the night sky.

Today is not a national holiday, though employees will be finishing work early and rushing home to get ready for what awaits.

In the evening family and friends sit down to the Christmas Eve table. And there are certain must-dos which have to be observed during the occasion, regardless of the family’s social and financial status or any additional regional customs.

The table cloth must be impeccably white with a small bundle of hay underneath it. A separate, empty plate should be set for an unexpected guest or exhausted wanderer who may knock on our door.

The Wigilia feast consists of twelve courses, including such delicacies as pierogiuszka and barszcz (various kinds of dumplings with beetroot soup) or fried carp, just to name a few of a whole gamut of possibilities.

However, the whole supper begins with breaking the oplatek, or Christmas wafer and exchanging best wishes among the gathered. Many families still find enough musical courage to engage in singing beautiful Polish carols.

Kids too, have their joyous moments as Santa makes his stop over in Poland on Christmas Eve. To crown the daylong celebrations there is Midnight Mass, which attracts millions of faithful to churches across the country.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Events, News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Early start to Christmas eve in the Salt Mine.

KRAKOW TOURS – Christmas Eve celebrations have already started in the Wieliczka salt mine, near Krakow, where carols sung by the miners and their families echoed from the St. Kinga chapel, 200 meters below ground level.

The special Christmas mass began at 7 am this morning.

This underground sanctuary and its salt sculptures had been created in the 18th century.

The first midnight mass was said on Christmas Eve 1865.

The tradition had been interrupted after World War Two when the communist authorities banned the celebrations giving safety precautions as a reason and were resumed in the late 1980’s.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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