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Opłatek, not presents, epitomises the true Polish Christmas spirit


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
7 Dec 2016 #1
An opłatek is basically the same communion-type bread wafer you have at church, except it's unconsecrated. Experts believe that the practice of sharing opłatek evolved from an earlier practice in which Poles shared podpłomyk, or thin, flat bread made on fire-heated stones and similar to pita bread. This meal was common in ancient Slavic societies before Christianity. The opłatek wafer was developed later by the Benedictines of Cluny in Burgundy, France and spread throughout Europe. Around the 17th century in Poland it became associated with Christmas. The practice of sharing the opłatek on Christmas Eve is today practiced within Polish families world-wide. Family members, typically starting with the eldest, usuallly grandparents, wish each other health, happiness and good fortune. The person receiving the wishes breaks off a piece of opłatek from the person offering it and eats it, then they triple-cheek kiss and hug. It's a custom that unites the entire family, from the youngest toddler, to the oldest patriarch, in a symbolic expression of love, mutual forgiveness for past wrongs and the true Christmas spirit.
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Dec 2016 #2
-Hey kid you want some tasteless bread or a new Playstation?
-To be honest Pan Stranger, Mom told me not to speak to strange men at the bus stop.....
-Oh of course, I'm sorry.....but I need your opinion becasue there's an idiot internet troll that's annoying us.
-OK then, Pan Stranger...sure, I'd prefer a Playstation, opłatek isn't even a toy, it's some weird kind of bread that they use in churches. Catholics pretend it turns in Jesus' body.

-Really? Wow, I didn't know that, that's kind of weird
-It sure is Pan Stranger, here's my bus, goodbye and Happy Christmas
-Happy Christmas to you too young man, I hope Santa/Angel/Baby Jesus or whoever brings the presents to you on Christmas brings a Playstation
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
7 Dec 2016 #3
Playstation

The ideal gift for young (and not so young) troglodytes*! (Rush to google for a translation if needed!)
*Also for those low and moronic enough to ridicule the cherished religious beliefs of others. That shows real "class", tact, diplomacy and civility. (Again -- rush to Google for definitions!)
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Dec 2016 #4
I see you've been playing with thesaurus.com again

Congratulations

edited
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
7 Dec 2016 #5
thesaurus

I indeed did once have a Roget's Thesaurus years ago but must've lent it out and it went missing. Maybe the Christ Child will bring me one for Christmas.
smurf 39 | 1,981
9 Dec 2016 #6
Maybe the Christ Child will bring me one for Christmas

Santa Claus brings presents.
Y'see, baby Jesus and Jesus the man aren't two different things, they're the same, so they cannot exist as different states at the same.......well, on a quantum level they can, but the way we humans in this 3rd dimensional (some argue 4) of reality experience time then the baby Jesus and Jesus the man cannot be two different things, so if Jesus brings you presents on Christmas (he doesn't) then it's Jesus the man, not baby Jesus.

Anyway, please enjoy this video:

youtube.com/watch?v=dU3f_BMttkA
Atch 17 | 2,917
9 Dec 2016 #7
Come on now Smurf. Tis the season of goodwill for all, whatever your beliefs. We need an excuse to be nice to each other!

Anyway Polly is referring to the tradition in some European countries that the Christ Child brings the gifts. It's quite sweet really. I know you find the whole religion thing not only nauseating but a bit worrying (the indoctrination of children aspect and all that). However having taught so many very young children, it's very touching to see how much they love Baby Jesus. I'd much rather see children being 'good' because they want to be like Baby Jesus and he'd be sad if they were naughty, than because Santa is 'watching'. That in itself is a really weird concept. I was actually terrified of Santy when I was a kid!! I mean I loved him but I was really afraid of the idea of him coming into the house in the night, it seemed so spooky. I used to crawl down to the bottom of the bed and hide under the covers, from where my mother would rescue me, and myself (and we'd say at home) in a lather of sweat, between terror and over heating :D
Ziemowit 12 | 3,610
9 Dec 2016 #8
What epitomises Christmas these days in Poland is too much fuss about it and too much food prepared on the occasion. ARC Rynek i Opinia Institute says that every Pole in four doesn't like Christmas (I am no exception).The main reason for those who dislike Christmas is a financial one. The necessity felt by people to prepare all this food for Christmas and buy presents is rather sick. Personally, I may identify myself with that chap from a TV advertissment who says to his wife:

- Co!? Znowu święta? Przecież niedawno były ...
Ironside 48 | 9,900
9 Dec 2016 #9
But you're still a fool

The only fool in this thread is you. As you were compelled by your inner stupidity that pushed you to post here for no good reason.

What epitomises Christmas these days in Poland is too much fuss about it and too much food prepared on the occasion

Nobody put a gun to your head. Buying expensive presents and getting too much of the food is not must. That ain't requirement for Christmas.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,610
9 Dec 2016 #10
Buying expensive presents and getting too much of the food is not must.

Tell it to my family, dude!
smurf 39 | 1,981
9 Dec 2016 #11
We need an excuse to be nice to each other!

Not to Polly, he's a waste of oxygen

than because Santa is 'watching'

Ah, but God is watching. He's all around you, like that Wet Wet Wet song.
It's something the Poles and us Irish share. Repressed Catholic guilt; you're simply guilty by being born and God watches everything you do all the time, until you die and then he judges you on how you behaved while shouldering a monkey on your back.

No thanks :D

That in itself is a really weird concept

Definitely. Being watched meant I was afraid to wank for years and years ^_^ And then I thought sure if he wants to watch he can watch, I'm not the pervert here ;)

I feckin love Christmas, probably the only time of year when people are nice to each other, it's wonderful and Christmas is what you make of it, it can be commercial, or traditional or both it's really up to you. We used to be forced to spend time in nasty inlaws and all the crap that goes with that so we stopped and we do things the way we like it; if you're doing things on Christmas you don't like doing, just stop doing them and enjoy the festivities.
Wulkan - | 3,251
9 Dec 2016 #12
Opłatek, not presents, epitomises the true Polish Christmas spirit

I always practice sharing oplatek when 24th of December, nicely brings family together.

edited
Marysienka 1 | 195
9 Dec 2016 #13
Why not both "opłatek" and presents. it's how is actually is.

And in my are it's the angels that bring presents. And that's brilliant because there are many angels, no need for "how does Santa bring all the presents in one night".
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
9 Dec 2016 #14
"how does Santa bring all the presents in one night".

No problem in fact Norad tracks his progress every year see below.

noradsanta.org
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
9 Dec 2016 #15
too much fuss

Can't agree more. Except there is too much fuss about the extraneous and superficial, not on Chrsitmas itself. Too much commecially imposed emphasis on food, booze and presents, on shoppign till you drop amid all the alien trappings (reindeer antlers on a TV set or laptop are supposed to suggest a Christmas sales promotion) and too little focus on the Nativity -- the reason for the season.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
9 Dec 2016 #16
it's the angels

And even if children are told it is Dzieciątko or Święty Mikołaj that brings the gifts and treats, millions of little angels serve as their helpers.
Lyzko 24 | 6,787
10 Dec 2016 #17
Apparently what "we" call Santa Claus, Poles refer to as Święty Mikołaj, correct?
DominicB - | 2,678
10 Dec 2016 #18
I feckin love Christmas, probably the only time of year when people are nice to each other

It's peak season for domestic violence, including murder within the family setting.
mafketis 21 | 7,463
10 Dec 2016 #19
Santa Claus, Poles refer to as Święty Mikołaj, correct?

I would say they're very different characters. Santa Claus can probably be traced to some stories by Washington Irving who largely wrote about the Dutch colonies around New York. That Saint Nick was originally almost a satire of the Dutch Sinterklaas (short and fat instead of tall and thin). The substitution of a sled drawn by a (single) reindeer was the contribution of an anonymous children's book aroud 1820 or so. Also along the way Sinterklaas's slaves were turned into elves (pc goes waaaaaay back).
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
10 Dec 2016 #20
different characters

Historically they differed in that the American Santa Claus of Irving and Nast creation was a rotund, jovial, bacchic figure rather than a saintly one. One wonders what the Sinterklaas of the original Dutch colonists was like, since to this day Holland and Benelux are one of the world's St Nicholas the Bishop* strongholds. In present-day Poland, over 95% of the Święty Mikołajs in circulation do not differ from the American Santa: fur-trimmed elf's costume, ho-ho-ho, reindeer, etc., only Lapland has replaced the North Pole in the public legend through the high-powered efforts of the Finnish tourist industry and airlines. To see the real St Nick in Poland, Google: Św. Mikołaj Biskup w Polsce. Costumes are available at:

strojemikolaja.pl/stroje-swietego-mikolaja-biskupa/cat_24.php

*Although the Dutch Sinterklaas sports the episcopal finery of a Catholic bishop, the legend has been modified and kids are told he comes to Holland by steamboat from Spain. (There were no steamboats in existence at the time of the New Amsterdam colony {eventually New York}.) His helper is not an angel but a Negro page clad in 16th-17th century attire k nown as Black Pete.
mafketis 21 | 7,463
10 Dec 2016 #21
Historically they differed in that the American Santa Claus of Irving and Nast creation was a rotund, jovial, bacchic figure rather than a saintly one.

Christmas in America also has a rich secular tradition probably mostly inherited from the England. The current version of Father Christmas only dates from Victorian times I believe but similar figures go back centuries.

Where does the Russina Ded Moroz (Polish Dziadek Mróz) come from?

The earliest American colonists (like modern Jehovah's Witnesses) didn't celebrate Christmas because of the lack of Biblical justification. As immigration grew beyond the highly religious Pilgrims and Puritans some, largely secular, English Christmas traditions were celebrated so that might be another factor contributing to the more secular Santa Claus.
Lyzko 24 | 6,787
10 Dec 2016 #22
Has Polish Christmas tradition then the character of the "evil" Krampus, like they have in Austria?
mafketis 21 | 7,463
10 Dec 2016 #23
@Lyzko

I've never heard the name used in Poland, but village festivities included devil like figures (as in Czech Republic and Hungary).
And they also have devil like figures in navitity plays

christmas devil
Lyzko 24 | 6,787
10 Dec 2016 #24
Thanks, Maf!
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
10 Dec 2016 #25
"evil" Krampus

I have never seen such horrific Krampus figures that scare the living daylights out of little kids like those who roam Austria.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
10 Dec 2016 #26
Ded Moroz (Polish Dziadek Mróz)

Not only is America plagued by the PC dictatorship. In Holland, even St Nick's helpers have been udner fire by the self-styled meddlers and suppressors of free speech and tradition.

vox.com/videos/2016/12/1/13802944/blackface-dutch-christmas
Lyzko 24 | 6,787
10 Dec 2016 #27
They're also called Freedom Partiers, PoloniusLOL
Rokit
10 Dec 2016 #28
Lmao wtf is this village ********? Just because your family is a bunch of worthless poor peasants doesn't mean everyone got some tasteless bread instead of presents as a kid.
Wulkan - | 3,251
10 Dec 2016 #29
Just because your family is a bunch of worthless poor peasants doesn't mean everyone got some tasteless bread instead of presents as a kid.

I think it's from smurf's imagination as I've never heard about it.
Wincig 2 | 185
11 Dec 2016 #30
The original St. Nicolas was born in Turkey and was the bishop of Myre (currently Demre) in the south of the country


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