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Opłatek, not presents, epitomises the true Polish Christmas spirit


OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #61
with contacts with the SB

Any links to that? Yes, I knew him but not about any such contacts. during martial law we both used the US Embassy to despatch stories whilst sidestepping the commie censors.
mafketis 34 | 12,243
20 Dec 2016 #62
Nothing wrong with that, is there?

Of course not. I think it's a perfectly legitimate way to give believers a feeling of connection to the religion, especially crucial when it was young and there's no reason to change now.

but that in no wise makes the celebration of the Nativity any less solemn, uplifitng and inspiring, does it?

I'm not a believer (though, like Camille Paglia, I respect religion). It's never been my favorite holiday but I have no desire whatsoever to inflict my lack of faith on people who do find comfort in it.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #63
quote Bernard Margueritte quite often

In fact the only time I've mentioned him on PF is in connection with that one appraisal of French Christmas. As someone interested in ethnology, the subleties of celebrations are something I try to follow.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #64
never been my favorite holiday

Nor is it mine if one thinks in terms of the noisy, brash, gaudy, tacky, razzle-dazzle shop till you drop frenzy into which hyper-commercialised Christmas has deteriorated. But anyone able to appreciate the solemn, spiritual and symbolic (rather than the commercial, frivolous and bacchic) has to get blown away by Polish Wigilia. In fact, probably no other nation has any single occasion crammed to overflowing with so many beautiful once-a-year customs, symbols, lore, legend, delicacies and uplifting kolędy. By comparison, Christmas Day is an anti-climactic also-ran.
mafketis 34 | 12,243
20 Dec 2016 #65
By comparison, Christmas Day is an anti-climactic also-ran.

Wigilia is an occasion and Christmas Day is no big deal in Poland. New Year's Eve is another big holiday (strengthened in the PRL due to Russian influence?) but epiphany is like Christmas Day, not much happens for most people.

Christmas in America is a festive season (who does advent in the US?) and Christmas Day marks the end of it (no Boxing Day whch I had no idea what it was before I moved to Poland saw references to it on Sky TV).

New Years Eve isn't as big a deal in the US (outside a few big cities) and Epiphany is mostly known where there are orthodox (Greek where I'm from) or from Spanish speaking countries (Christmas isn'ta big holiday in Spain, Epiphany, dia de los reyes magos, has always been bigger). Latin America seems to be a mixed bag in holiday terms....
Chemikiem
20 Dec 2016 #66
Would you be happy living in a place where it was legal to shoot dogs and cats on the streets?

That has absolutely no relevance to the topic at all.

People have differnet takes on things and different priorities, haven't you noticed.

Yes they do, but why not just get on with your own Xmas? Nothing wrong with you wanting to celebrate it's true meaning, but if others want to give presents, even to excess, that is their business. You are just trying to take the moral high ground again.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #67
Epiphany

Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz was largely instrumental in launching the Three Kings Cavalcade. This is a great family occasiosn, the Three Kings arriving on horseback and camelback, kids dressed as angels and devils engage in a pageant symybolising the struggle between good and evil (guess which side wins?!), other religious, historic and folkloric figures all wending their way through Old Town and ending with communtiy kolędy singing. A beautiful new custom in the spirit of the season. Also Polish Catholics mark their doorways on the Epiphany with blessed chalk and write: K+M+B 2017. After 6 Jan priests make their annual pastoral rounds to the homes of parishioners. Some of the shop-till-you-drop ballyhoo has been seeping over into Poland but has yet to destroy the beautiful old traditions.
Wincig 2 | 228
20 Dec 2016 #68
Any links to that?

Here it is (in French unfortunately, but I am sure you are fluent enough to understand it).
lemonde.fr/elections-europeennes/article/2009/06/01/pologne-le-passe-controverse-d-un-candidat-nomme-bernard-margueritte_1200738_1168667.html

Here is the gist of it: on 4th April, speaking to Rzeczpospolita, M. Margueritte revealed his past contacts with the Polish political police (SB). [...]. The journalist says he was briefly registered as a source in 1971, under the "Gamma" pseudonym.

Funny it comes from the same newspaper who he used to work for..
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #69
@Wincig
Good thing you gave the gist because the link produced: internal service error (whatever that means). More Gatesian gobble-dee-gook which I cannot stomach!
I wonder if Beranrd simply agreed to sign up or actually snitched on someone. He never came across as a commie sympathiser.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Dec 2016 #70
who does advent in the US?

America is much too big a place to make such sweeping generalisations. Many German Americans attach quite a lot of importance to Advent wreaths, as do the Dutch (Holland, MI for example) to St Nicholas and PolAms to Wigilia. If you are irreligious, you probably associate mainly with those of similar ilk rather than with devout church-goers, meanng that you may not be too plugged into that parficular communtiy.
johnny reb 36 | 7,478
20 Dec 2019 #71
Also for those low and moronic enough to ridicule the cherished religious beliefs of others.

Could this be because we Christians profess that Jesus is the reason for the season ?
We Christians celebrate the birth of Christ and the Un Believers have no reason to celebrate Christmas so they ridicule our religious beliefs.

too little focus on the Nativity -- the reason for the season.

What I have read about Poland's Christmas's is that it is now more about commercially imposed emphasis on food, booze and presents.
Is midnight mass still the highlight of Christmas celebration in Poland ?
Lenka 3 | 2,780
20 Dec 2019 #72
For a part of the religious side of society it is.
There is also the more secular one- most pubs open up at the same time and can't complain about attendance.
Both are called pasterka but one obviously in a joking manner.
Wincig 2 | 228
2 Jan 2020 #73
We Christians celebrate the birth of Christ and the Un Believers have no reason to celebrate Christmas.

Not quite, it is probably the sole occasion in the year when members of families get together (at least in Europe where Thanks giving does not exist)
terri 1 | 1,664
2 Jan 2020 #74
Christmas, Easter, Birthday, Nameday, Mother's day, Father's day, Granddad's Day, Grandma's day and all other days ' even 'boys' day' are driven by commerce and industry where the prime aim is for them to force you to buy cards and presents that no one actually needs or wants.

If you buy cards or presents only for the specified days to show how much you care for the recipients, it shows that you do not care for them throughout the year. Better to buy unexpected presents because you want to and not because you have to.
Lenka 3 | 2,780
2 Jan 2020 #75
presents that no one actually needs or wants.

Doesn't that depend on the giver? Hiw well they know the recipient? I've usually received gifts that I really liked.
And while I agree to a certain extend with your opinion- I prefer to look at it from different perspective- not as a reason to pretend you care but an excuse to show someone you care.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,138
2 Jan 2020 #76
it shows that you do not care for them throughout the year.

Terri, you are a genius. When I was reading that post it felt like I wrote it myself. You are so damn right. The date-compelled gifts or words are worth zero. Tell her that you love her any other day when she just got up and before the makeup goes on and it means something. On the other hand, one "you weigh too much" and you are fu*cked for life and not in a good way.

We quit buying gifts years ago because we have everything we need. Plus, shopping is so much more fun than getting it all wrapped up.
pawian 190 | 19,211
7 Feb 2020 #77
Better to buy unexpected presents because you want to and not because you have to.

But one needs to discuss it with your nearest and dearest first. WIthout it, they will expect a present on the special day and when they don`t get it, might feel terribly disappointed.
Miloslaw 14 | 4,532
7 Feb 2020 #78
For me, oplatek is probably the nicest Polish custom I can think of.
pawian 190 | 19,211
7 Feb 2020 #79
Yes, but don`t forget about a similar custom: sharing an egg on Easter Sunday.
Lenka 3 | 2,780
8 Feb 2020 #80
oplatek is probably the nicest Polish custom

I think it depends on the people. It can be great and touching but it can also be horrible
Miloslaw 14 | 4,532
8 Feb 2020 #81
You are right, I had forgotten that aspect of it (Rose tinted glasses) but you have just reminded me...........
pawian 190 | 19,211
8 Feb 2020 #82
I think it depends on the people. It can be great and touching but it can also be horrible

You mean non-believers forced to stick to the custom by family? :)
Lenka 3 | 2,780
8 Feb 2020 #83
No, I mean the characters and relationships between those involved
pawian 190 | 19,211
8 Feb 2020 #84
Oh, yes, sharing a wafer with sb one doesn`t like. Life.... :)
pawian 190 | 19,211
4 Aug 2022 #85
true Polish Christmas spirit

Instead of spirit, you can use other percent liquids as Christmas presents. Here - craft beer for daddy. And a tie with pineapple motiffs.
The cat is not a present.





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