CHRISTMAS EVE SUPPER
Preparing for Christmas in Poland is a busy time. The inside and outside of a home is thoroughly cleaned. If it passes inspection, it will be clean throughout the next year. The Christmas Eve Supper (WIGILIA) is a special occasion with traditional foods on the table. Everyone waits for the moment of seeing the first star known as GWIAZDKA to appear in the sky. The traditional wafer (OPLATKI) is broken and wishes are exchanged for good health, wealth and happiness in the New Year. There are blades of straw beneath the tablecloth and they are pulled out after supper. Sometimes there is money under the cloth representing prosperity. Visit this Gallery to see this beautiful table setting.
Another recognized Polish insitution is the SZOPKA-The Polish Christmas Creche. This is often referred to as A FAIRY TALE STABLE. The SZOPKA once a humble peasant pleasure, is still very much recognized. Christmas is not complete without this special art piece.
The stable roof is flanked by two towers. The second floor is a stable setting. The bottom floor consists of figures of folklore and history.
Various regions in Poland have a craft competition to award artfully made SZOPKAS. The Polish Gallery SZOPKA was made in 1988 by a priest and two other members of the St. Stanislaus Church in Rockford. We are grateful the church has allowed us to share this masterful piece with this gallery visitors.