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Opłatek, not presents, epitomises the true Polish Christmas spirit


DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #31
The original St. Nicolas was born in Turkey

There was no such thing as "Turkey" during his lifetime, nor would there be for hundreds of years. He was born in the Roman Empire, in Asia Minor, and was of Greek extraction. The nearest Turk was thousands of miles away.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
11 Dec 2016 #32
Turkey

But was of Greek nationality. The name was derived from the Greek word for victory (nike) and originally meant "people of victory".
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,024
11 Dec 2016 #33
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.

Of course it would be a much better world if there was no God watching over us, life was meaningless and there was no justice when you died. Any of those who do evil in this lifetime will get away with it, and being a good person who are generous and lives an honest life, treating others with respect, well that's meaningless, at least in the long run, because we just live, die and who really cares.

That's the life I assume you believe in, but the more frightening and hard to understand thing is, why you think that things are actually better this way.

By the way I take it you live in Poland right? When in Rome buddy. Stop bashing Polish Christian tradition. Or perhaps go to live in Saudi Arabia and do the same there for a while. See how far it gets you.
Wulkan - | 3,243
11 Dec 2016 #34
No thanks :D

So now go and kill someone, there will be no hell for you.
singingfalls 3 | 50
11 Dec 2016 #35
So, long ago my grandmother kept this tradition alive when she came to the USA. We had the Opłatek after we came back to her house from midnight Mass. We'd share the Opłatek with each family member present, confess and forgiveness, make everything right, kiss and each a late huge meal. This would have been circa 1950's
smurf 39 | 1,981
12 Dec 2016 #36
Any of those who do evil in this lifetime will get away with it, and being a good person who are generous and lives an honest life.

Life is meaningless, embrace it and live life like every day is your last, (I think your King of Poland Mr Jebus said that once) that's freedom, not my problem if you can't live in the moment
Lyzko 34 | 8,342
12 Dec 2016 #37
A good observation, Wincig and Dominic!

To be sure, present-day Turkey was Christian long before it was invaded by the Muslim Crusaders.
Ironside 51 | 11,338
12 Dec 2016 #38
not my problem

you do have a problems jebusie, otherwise you wouldn't be jumping on every opportunity to insult - that is a big cry for help smurf.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
13 Dec 2016 #39
if you can't live in the moment

You have justt defined how lower creatures live. They don't plan ahead, they have no spirituality, no deeper thoughts, no philosophy of life, just plain, dumb, basic instinct. Their lives revolve round eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, copulating and sleeping. From your posts it appears there are also some humans who fit that description. They can only be pitied.
Wincig 2 | 228
14 Dec 2016 #40
There was no such thing as "Turkey" during his lifetime, nor would there be for hundreds of years.

Well, I was obviously referring to the geographical part of the world which is now Turkey. But we can be even more pedantic than you, Dominic B. Let's call it Turkey, formerly know as Lycia, Asia Minor, part of the Roman Empire ( abbreviated as Turkey, fkaLAMpotRE). And we can start doing the same for each reference; for example, Boadicea would not be born in Britain, but in England, formerly part of the Roman Empire (England, fpofRE)!
Wincig 2 | 228
14 Dec 2016 #41
To be sure, present-day Turkey was Christian long before it was invaded by the Muslim Crusaders.

Indeed, and before this it venerated the Greek and Roman Gods, and before this it was pagan. In fact, both the Christian period and the Muslim one , which both lasted around 1,000 years (the latter one still ongoing) are small blips if one takes into account that humans have been living in Anatolia for at least 10,000 years
Lyzko 34 | 8,342
14 Dec 2016 #42
Babba Noel was therefore the FIRST (perhaps, only truly authentic) Santa Claus:-) After all, the Europeans were all heathens until the early Christians introduced them to THEIR faith!
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
17 Dec 2016 #43
authentic) Santa Claus

The only "authentic" Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Company in the 1930s.
mafketis 34 | 12,243
17 Dec 2016 #44
You're wrong. The definitive look for Santa Claus was established by Thomas Nast by 1880 or so.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
17 Dec 2016 #45
definitive look for Santa

The red suit was finalised by Coke co. Priot to then, he was clad in red, brown, blue, green, etc. and did not look exactly like today's sales agent No. 1.

The brown fur hat adorned with holly leaves and the pipe of Nast's imagination was not replicated by Coca-Cola.
mafketis 34 | 12,243
18 Dec 2016 #46
The brown fur hat adorned with holly leaves and the pipe of Nast's imagination was not replicated by Coca-Cola

So?

All across Europe you find the folk motiff of the onset of winter (or the winter solstice) being associated with an old man, possibly bearing gifts.

That's the idea uniting figures like Ded Moroz (Dziadek Mróz) and Father Christmas (who existed for centuries before being formalized in the Victorian era).

Calling that figure Saint Nicholas is just one more manifestation of that, another example of Catholicism co-opting pre-Christian pagan beliefs.

Deciding that one of these is the only true incarnation is very weird and I don't understand the logic.

Dude, life is too short to be so upset about Santa Claus.....

If I had my druthers Santa wouldn't be very well known outside the US but I'm not going to start ranting and raving about it.
Chemikiem
18 Dec 2016 #47
life is too short to be so upset about Santa Claus.....

Couldn't agree more, but it's the whole commercial aspect of Xmas he's upset about.
Polly should really learn to live and let live. Nothing wrong with him celebrating the true meaning of Xmas, but I don't see why he should moan about the giving of presents too. If he doesn't want to do that, that's his choice.

Poles traditionally get presents from Sw. Mikołaj on December 6th, but the Poles I know in the UK, also give out small presents on Wigilia or Xmas day. Moving to a different country means that other traditions get taken on, but doesn't mean that their traditional ones get forgotten, as he should know being raised in the US.

Basically, he's only happy when he's being miserable ;)
mafketis 34 | 12,243
18 Dec 2016 #48
Poles traditionally get presents from Sw. Mikołaj on December 6th

that's just for kids, traditionally

but the Poles I know in the UK, also give out small presents on Wigilia or Xmas da

Usually presents are opened during wigilia in Poland, Christmas day in Poland is usually.... just lazing around, eating, going to church (if you're so inclined) and/or visiting family that isn't too far away.

Basically, he's only happy when he's being miserable ;)

I don't mind him being miserable, but why insist that everybody else join in?
Chemikiem
18 Dec 2016 #49
that's just for kids, traditionally

Yes, I know.

Usually presents are opened during wigilia in Poland

I didn't know that. I spent one Xmas in Poland a few years ago with friends, but no-one had presents on Wigilia.

but why insist that everybody else join in?

Because he's a killjoy. I don't see why it matters so much to him anyway, as long as his family is observing Xmas in the traditional way, what does it matter what others do?
mafketis 34 | 12,243
18 Dec 2016 #50
I didn't know that. I spent one Xmas in Poland a few years ago with friends, but no-one had presents on Wigilia.

Was this with friends or their families?

Also traditionally Xmas presents for adults traditionally tend to be small and symbolic in Poland (for financial and cultural reasons). That's changing some but it's nowhere like the US where people spend waaaaaaay too much money on presents.
Chemikiem
18 Dec 2016 #51
Was this with friends or their families?

With friends and their 4 children. Maybe the kids just got presents on the 6th, but definitely nothing on Wigilia.

it's nowhere like the US where people spend waaaaaaay too much money on presents.

The UK is no different. It's way over the top in my opinion. The whole Xmas thing has become far too commercial, I will give Polly that. I don't understand people spending insane amounts of money on presents, but that is their choice I suppose.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
18 Dec 2016 #52
far too commercial

A number of years ago, maybe 15 or 20, the then longest-serving foreign correspomndent in Warsaw, Bernard Margueritte (Le Monde, Le Figaro) was interviewed on Polish TV and said: "Nowhere in the world is there such a fantastic display of Christmas illumination as in Paris, cafés filled to overflowing with shoppers, people loaded down with packages rushing to and fro...except that they don't really know why they're doing it!"
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
18 Dec 2016 #53
All across Europe you find the folk motif

You said Santa Claus, not some folk grandfather figure. BTW can you prove that in pre-Christian times there was a grandfather gift-giver reminsicent of Father Christmas or Dziadek Mróz?
mafketis 34 | 12,243
18 Dec 2016 #54
You said Santa Claus, not some folk grandfather figure

Santa is just another incarnation of the motiff, the idea of him getting in houses through chimneys dates from 1809 and the reindeer pulled sled from 1820 or so.

BTW can you prove that in pre-Christian times there was a grandfather gift-giver reminsicent of Father Christmas or Dziadek Mróz?

I have no intention of doing a dissertation and it's a bit of a deduction but all these figures (and the old man at the end of the year) didn't come from nothing.

And of course the church as a long history of coopting pagan practices and putting a christian veneer over them. Nothing wrong with that at all it's a way to make people feel the faith is connected to them.
Chemikiem
18 Dec 2016 #55
.except that they don't really know why they're doing it!"

I'm sure there are many people who don't think much about the true meaning of Xmas, but why is that so important to you so long as you have your traditional Xmas? What other people do or believe isn't really your business.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
19 Dec 2016 #56
What other people do

Would you be happy living in a place where it was legal to shoot dogs and cats on the streets? Someone could say: that's none of your business what others do, especially if it's legal. You dont' have to do it, just look away. But the environment in which one lives does affect people.
jon357 71 | 20,403
19 Dec 2016 #57
And of course the church as a long history of coopting pagan practices and putting a christian veneer over them

Like Christmas itself, Yuletide, something that long predates Christianity. It's no accident that major Christian festivals occur round the Winter Solstice and the two Equinoxes.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #58
why is that so important to you

Well, when asked by a Polish TV interviewer to say something about Christmas in France, why was it so important to Monsiuer Margueritte to say what he did. People have differnet takes on things and different priorities, haven't you noticed.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #59
church as a long history of coopting

Nothing wrong with that, is there? Christmas celebrated when it is was derived form the Roman Saturnalia. And the exact time of Jesus' birth is uncertain and varies accoreidng to scholars not only as to the day of the month but even the year. Exact records were simply not kept back then, but that in no wise makes the celebration of the Nativity any less solemn, uplifitng and inspiring, does it?
Wincig 2 | 228
20 Dec 2016 #60
why was it so important to Monsiuer Margueritte

You seem to quote Bernard Margueritte quite often; as an ex journalist, you probably came to know him personally? I do respect the man overall, especially for his coverage of Poland in le Monde and Le Figaro, but you are aware that he was a somewhat controversial figure, with contacts with the SB (and the nickname 'Gamma' to boot)..


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