To familiarize yourself with the cultural peculiarities of Poland, it is necessary to learn about the traditions of holiday celebrations.
In this article we will tell you how the Poles celebrate the New Year – a well-known and popular holiday. What customs will be familiar to you? On the contrary, what is unusual, what are the characteristics? What can and should not be done to avoid unpleasant situations? Let’s talk about it.
How many New Year’s holidays and on which date?
New Year’s Eve in Poland is celebrated on the night of 1. January celebrated. In this respect, the Poles do not differ from other countries that live according to the Julian calendar. At the same time the Poles celebrate it on 31. December a holiday – the day of St. Sylvester. We will go into more detail below.
It is worth remembering that the Catholic Christmas is celebrated on the night of 25. December is celebrated and the Poles celebrate it on 26. Celebrate December. Even before these holidays decorate Christmas trees, decorate houses, greet neighbors. That’s why some holidays often flow smoothly into others.
Since the holiday is national in nature, nowadays there are no government agencies, including foreign missions. Overall, the holiday calendar from December to January looks like this:
|24. December||Christmas Eve|
|25. December||The first day of Christmas|
|26. December||Boxing Day|
|31. December||New Year’s Eve – St. New Year’s Eve Day|
|1. January||New Year|
|6. January||Epiphany (not all voivodeships are original)|
How is celebrated Nowy Rok in Poland?
Celebrating the New Year in many ways sounds familiar. They are decorated with houses, streets, cities. The meeting takes place at a table with family and friends.
Many prefer to celebrate NG at home, but many also take tours to resorts or clubs.
City residents (and tourists with them) can meet for hours in the central squares and only then celebrate.
There are mass celebrations on the streets, shop windows with thematic installations. Champagne (but more often a special New Year mulled wine – gzhanets), fireworks and songs are part of Polish culture and hardly surprising for foreigners from CIS countries.
Traditions and customs of the Poles
Forgiving old offenses, leaving home, and paying off debts are three basic, but not the only, traditions of the new year.
Features of the holiday table
As a rule, looks and festive table – it is abundant and festive.
However, there is a difference: the Poles try to put on the table twelve dishes (according to the number of months in the year), and some of them can be quite simple – barley or millet porridge, bread, etc. This does not deny that there are more refined dishes. including the number of desserts (chocolate cake, honey-nut cookies – Fafernach, etc.).).
The main dish of the New Year’s table is baked carp. It is associated with quite ambiguous and contradictory traditions. The head of the fish is usually given to the head of the family – and there is nothing special about it. But Poles do not throw out the scales immediately! they put it in a wallet and believed that it would lead to more prosperity.
If Polish acquaintances kill your wallet with a fish scale, this is not an excuse to "shake your shoulder and shake your hand"; this is a wish for your material well-being. If the possible smell of your property is confusing – be careful and tactfully warn the Poles that this tradition does not suit you.
Gifts are accepted, but things are practical and beautiful. Ladies present jewelry, various accessories. Men receive cufflinks, lighters, wallets, pens, etc.
It is not very decent to give a married woman something better and more expensive than her husband gave her. It is better to know in advance what will be given.
Street parties are typical not only for New Year’s Eve, but also for the next day.
In medieval Poland there was a tradition – Kulig. Wealthy aristocrats rode on their sleighs and arranged a funny traffic circle.
Today everything looks more modest: Young people ride sleds, have fun and then cook on the roast dishes: Meat or more traditional on this day Bigos (sausages).
The name of the events has remained the same – Kulig.
Some other interesting features, some of which are known, but not all:
- Many Poles believe that good weather for the New Year is an indicator of a good harvest in the future.
- "How to meet and spend" – this folk wisdom is also recognized in Poland.
- The Poles are trying to get away from the 1. January to wake up and get out of bed, stepping first on the right foot. They believe that it will bring them good luck in the new year.
These traditions are followed by many in Poland, but they are not binding rules at all, and some treat them as relics of the past. However, if your friends adhere to the traditions, their non-adherence can be considered a personal insult.
How and when is celebrated the Sylwester’s Day?
This holiday should be mentioned separately. It is celebrated on 31. December celebrated. Besides the greetings on this day, New Year’s Eve is no different in principle: housewives prepare for New Year’s Eve, street parties and masquerades are the turn since Christmas.
However, if you are in Poland for the first time, you will definitely be told a touching legend about this saint. Sylvester I. is one of the Roman popes who lived in the 4th century. People who lived in the sixteenth century after Christ. In those years, the terrible Leviathan appeared from the abyss of the sea and, according to legend, tried to eat the whole world.
It is not difficult to guess that at this moment a "just Catholic" Sylvester appeared, who defeated the mystical reptile. They are still in Poland and "celebrate New Year’s Eve" on 31. December.
Without denying the existence of giant world-eating snakes, let’s look at some facts:
- The tradition of celebrating New Year’s Eve appeared only at the end of the 19th century. Century on.
- This legend does not belong to the biblical category.
- St. Sylvester was not a "just Catholic", since it lived seven centuries before the complete disappearance of Catholicism.
- Although St. Sylvester is a pope, he is also venerated by the Orthodox Church. The reason is the same – the separation has not happened yet. If a foreigner is a believer, one should not be afraid to spend the day of the "foreign" Saints to celebrate.
Where can I go to Poland with NG?
In Poland there are many places to celebrate the New Year. Let’s focus on the most popular.
Meeting in the mountains
Such ski areas are concentrated in the south of the country in mountainous terrain. Zakopane is one of the favorites of the Poles. The main advantage is organized family vacation, ie entertainment for all ages.
Sleds and skates, skis and snowboards – these and other sports and leisure activities will entertain adults and children alike. One of the most popular attractions is the mountain railroad that transports tourists to the top of one of the mountains, from where there is a magnificent view from a height of 1160 meters.
Meet Sylwester at Carnity Castle
The Karnity is a hotel in Poland stylized as a medieval castle. Beautiful vacation, beautiful scenery. In addition, the entire duration of stay is accompanied by a retinue of knightly times, including points, duels and other entertainment events.
You can go with your children. The average cost of an adult tour is 250-270 euros. Children under 5 years – 20 euros, from 5 to 16 – 175.
Where to visit and what to see in Warsaw?
Many events are held in the Polish capital. The New Year highlights are located in the main square. There is also installed a Christmas tree. A large number of people, loud celebrations, carnivals and holidays on every corner, pour the roast.
On 1. January, you can visit the "Water Park" aqua park visiting, skating on open and closed ice rinks and visiting shopping malls.
Where better to party with children?
In addition to the places already mentioned spend vacations with children in Poland most favorite:
- Krakow. It is the cultural capital of the Republic of Poland. Vacations here are less noisy, more chamber, but very interesting for children and adults. It’s worth watching the royal castle.
- Museum of Wieliczka. The place is also in Krakow, but at a depth of 300 meters underground. You can enjoy the view of beautiful lakes, chapels, picture galleries and much more.
- If you want, you can combine vacation with treatment. The following Polish places are famous:
- Stranger Zdroj;
- Take it away.
Of course, the sanatorium is not the best place for children’s animation, but when health requires attention, it is possible to combine the pleasant with the useful.
How do NG stores work?
25. and 26. December and 1. January – large cellars do not work.
However, small private stores can work according to their own schedule.
Of course, the sellers of souvenirs work, and the sellers of fries can be found everywhere.
On the eve of Christmas and New Year (24. and 31. December) most shopping centers are open, but within the reduced program – up to 14-15 hours.
The new year in Poland is interesting and also in comparison with the rest costs in the countries of the "old" Europe very profitable. If you know the established traditions and do not break them, you can avoid unnecessary conflicts and rest well!