Saturday, December 25, 2010
CHRISTMAS IN POLAND!!!
Why is Christmas in Poland such a wonderful opportunity to learn about a rich country's religious traditions??? Because Poland has many terrific ways to celebrate Christmas, from the simple to the elaborate. Like most of Europe, Poland's history as a Christian country stretches back across the ages. The Polish people have always taken great pride in their religious fervor, and a a result, many beautiful churches (and many wonderful traditions) have been attributed to Polish Christianity. Christmas, in particular, is a Polish favorite. Whether you have the good fortune to spend the Christmas season in Poland or you'd just like to do some arm-chair traveling to this beautiful country, here are some Polish Christmas traditions that may or may not have caught your eye.
SAY IT IN POLISH: MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Different words, same meaning: If you want to say "Merry Christmas" like they say it in Poland, try pronouncing "Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia"! If you can pull this off, I guarantee you'll not only impress your hosts in Poland or abroad, you'll also be a certified master of languages! Keep in mind the Polish words are often "not" pronounced the way the are spelled. For example the city of "Lodz, was pronounced as "Woodch"! And Krakow is not said as "Kra-cow". It's usually "Krah-koff". Polish words are very interesting!!
WATCH A SHOPKY. When Christmas Day itself arrives in Poland, it's heralded by merriment that culminates in a show known as "shopky". If you have the good fortune to be spending Christmas in this beautiful country, you'll be able to wave to Polish boys who have good fun portraying a very grumpy King Herod, as they slip through towns to show off their singing skills. The "shopky" is the puppet show the children create and staff.
ALL IN THE INITIALS: K.M.B. During Christmastime the houses of Poland, seeking protection from any troubles the year may bring, are carefully marked with three letters, "K", "M", "B". This is to represent the names of the wise men who visited the baby Jesus ("Kasper", is the spelling in Polish). This is just one of many small yet holy traditions in Poland that make the holiday season so unique and beautiful.
"Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia"!