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All Things Christmassy in Poland


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
23 Dec 2015 #121
Christmas

Gifts of the little Góral shepherds
Fout young Góral shepherds in highlander dress tending their flocks on a hillside have heard the angel voices calling them to Bethlehem. When they arrive at their destination, they approach the stable where they find Baby Jesus in a manger watched over by the Blessed Mother and St Joseph. A cow, a donkey and some sheep munch hay nearby. The shepherds remove their hats, fall to their knees and pay tribute to the Christ Child, placing gifts at the foot of the manger.

KUBA: I bring this small lamb, so soft and so sweet, so that it can warm the Christ Child's feet.
(Przynoszę Ci, Jezu, to miękkie jagniątko, by grzało Ci nóżki, Boże Dzieciątko.)
STASZEK: I give you, dear Jesus, my heart and my soul, and these góral mocassins for a nice mountain stroll.
(Składam w ofierze mą duszę i serce, a na górskie spacery -- góralskie kierpce.)
ANTEK: Dearest Jesus, if you please, do accept this gift of cheese.
(Kłania Ci się dusza szczera, przyjmij ten kawałek sera.)
MACIEK: I'm but a poor shepherd, and that must be said -- for the King of all Heaven I've only some bread.
(Jam biedny pastuszek, więc dla Króla Nieba mam jeno ten mały bochenek chleba.)
(Someone is heard faintly sobbing nearby.)
MACIEK: Who is that crying? Who is that boy? It's no time for weeping, we're all filled with joy.
(Któż tam tak szlocha? To nie czas żałości. Nadeszła pora wielkiej radości!)
ZBYSZKO: It's our youngest shepherd, and Toma is his name. He has nothing for Jesus and feels full of shame.
(To najmłodszy pastuszek, na imię mu Toma. Płacze bo przyszedł z pustymi rękoma.)
Toma: I've nothing for Jesus, with shame I turn red. I can't even give Him a small piece of bread.
(Podarku ja nie mam dla Jezusa z Nieba, nawet nie mogę Mu dać kromki chleba.)
KUBA: Well, tell Him a story or sing Him a song, say something funny - you can't go wrong.
(Więc bajkę Mu powiedz, a po twej kolędzie na pewno Dzieciątku przyjemniej będzie.)
ZBYSZKO: Whether sitting at home or walking along, Toma sings a most beautiful song.
(Czy chodzi po polu czy siedzi se doma, nikt z nas nie śpiewa tak pięknie jak Toma.)
ANTEK: Then sing, little shepherd, it's time that you start. That'll surely gladden the Christ Child's heart.
(Zaśpiewaj, pastuszku, widać po tobie, że uradujesz Dzieciątko w żłobie.)
(Toma begins singing the well-known Polish lullabye-carol 'Lulajże Jezuniu' in the most beautiful, clear soprano voice imaginable. Baby Jesus smiles, and raises His tiny hand as if bestowing his blessing. When the singing ends, the Blessed Mother breaks her silence.)

BLESSED MOTHER: If my Baby could speak, if His voice He could lift, he'd thank the young shepherd for his most splendid gift. Jesus loves presents from people sincere, and those who have brought them He'll always hold dear. But food will get eaten, gifts break, tear and rust. And all our possessions soon turn to dust. Only things of the soul endure truly long - a smile, a good word or this beautiful song.

(Gdyby Synek mój już mowę swą umiał kierować, za kolędę zapewne też jąłby dziękować. Bo dary wsze ceni gdy dane są szczerze, a ofiarodawców w opiekę swą bierze. Ale jadło się zjada, podarki się zedrą, i wszelkie przedmioty niszczeją i bledną. Jeno co z duszy trwać może lat wiele - z uśmiechem, dobrym słowem i pieśnią na czele.)

*******
Levi 12 | 450
23 Dec 2015 #122
I am going to Poland tomorrow to celebrate my first Polish Christmas :)

Bringing some gifts with me.By the way, which time is usually expected people to arrive to a family celebration starting at "Wieczorem" ?
smurf 39 | 1,981
23 Dec 2015 #123
It was recorded by the famous tenor Caruso sometime before 1920 which may account for its long standing popularity in Ireland as the Irish loved a good tenor and he was hugely popular with my grandfather's generation.

Tis an en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Night - Austrian song originally
Saw it being sang in its true form a few years back while spending a Christmas in the Austrian mountains and it was spine tingling and yous all know I'm not fan of religion, but in its original language sang in the place where the song was written...wow, it was powerful.

which time is usually expected people to arrive to a family celebration starting at "Wieczorem"

Don't go early buddy, the women of the hose'll have ya cleaning.
Check out when the sun is due to set tomorrow and get there about 30-45 mins before, then you're safely there for the first star and then the debortuary can begin ;)

Have a good one everyone :)
johnny reb 20 | 4,515
23 Dec 2015 #124
I found this on line:
In Poland, Celebrations begin on December 24 and usually end with Candle mass on February 2.
Customs rule the evening, so meat is not allowed, and the serving of the 12-course feast is usually followed by a gift exchange.
The meal usually begins with a Christmas Eve version of red borscht.
Its beet soup prepared differently from the everyday version and usually served with tiny dumplings, dried ceps, and fried onion.
Carp, herring, and pierogis are often on the menu, and the dinner is punctuated by makowiec, or poppy seed cake.
It's always included because the poppy seed stands for prosperity.
Peace on Earth
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
23 Dec 2015 #125
Carp

ANY CARP KILLERS ON PF?
This year the Missus said she would get fillets but it tutrned out there was a huge queue for them and almost none for live carp so she got the latter. The fish was live so it was up to me to be the executioner. I don't relish the task but someone's go to do it. After bonking it several times on the head with a hammer I beheaded and gutted it and it was still twitching. Anybody ever do this?

A few years back we had Poland's most expensive karp for Wigilia. They are very slippery and when I swung the hammer it slipped and broke the ceramic bathroom sink which had to be replaced. This year I spread old newspapers on the kitchen counter to perform the deed.
johnny reb 20 | 4,515
23 Dec 2015 #126
I read some place that a lot of people buy the live carp days before because of supply and demand.
They then take them home and keep them alive in the bath tub until execution time.
(I can't imagine taking a bath with a carp)
I personally would take the fish out of the water, lay him on a cutting board, take a very sharp knife and
slice his throat just behind the gills until the blood started to flow generously.
Being a cold blooded creature I doubt the fish would feel any pain and just gently go to sleep.
All is well that ends well. :-)
Ironside 49 | 10,171
23 Dec 2015 #127
CARP

Any other fish would do.
mafketis 23 | 7,775
23 Dec 2015 #128
After bonking it several times on the head with a hammer I beheaded and gutted it and it was still twitching. Anybody ever do this?

I don't much like carp, but I've tried to kill catfish (popular in the US South) and those little buggers are but indestructable I still remember one that .... yikes, the memory still creeps me out.

They then take them home and keep them alive in the bath tub until execution time.

That's to try to clean them out, carp are bottom feeders and keeping them in clear water (maybe feeding it bread) gets some of the muddy taste out of it.

People have a bucket to fish it out if they need to use the tub for something else.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
23 Dec 2015 #129
bottom feeders

Poland's farm-bred carp are kept in fresh water tanks unfed for several days before being sent to market. In the States a black guy once told me you can get rid of the muddy flavour by alting and freezing the dressed fish, Never tired it, but who knows? Blacks are among America's biggest carp fanciers.
mafketis 23 | 7,775
23 Dec 2015 #130
Poland's farm-bred carp are kept in fresh water tanks unfed for several days before being sent to market.

This must be a new process, the first time I had carp in the early 90s, in a university stołówka it was a muddy mess that I couldn't finish (and generally that stołówka had very good fare for institutional food since it was all made from fresh ingredients - labor intensive probably but better tasting.
OP Atch 17 | 3,064
23 Dec 2015 #132
Anybody ever do this?

Yes my dear husband performed the honours this year. He's a very efficient carp killer and I warned him beforehand about the terrible consequences if he damaged any of my precious bathroom fixtures!

This must be a new process,

No. Bringing home the live carp and keeping it for several days in the bath tub of cold water has been common practice for a long time.
mafketis 23 | 7,775
23 Dec 2015 #133
No. Bringing home the live carp and keeping it for several days in the bath tub of cold water has been common practice for a long time.

I know that, I was reacting to Polly's claim about farm raised fish being kept in clean tanks before being sent to stores.

Apropos of nothing, the best carp I ever had was in Poland, but at a Vietnamse New Years celebration.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,865
23 Dec 2015 #134
Poland's farm-bred carp are kept in fresh water tanks unfed for several days before being sent to market.

Something that's curious - I don't know if it's the same there, but a lot of carp in Western Poland is allegedly from a place called Milicz, close to Wrocław. The problem is that there's obviously a lot more carp being sold than is being bred there!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
23 Dec 2015 #135
Poland

Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic are among Europe's biggest carp markets.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
23 Dec 2015 #136
He's a very efficient carp killer

I don't think i could bear to watch!
Although I've been to quite a few Wigilia celebrations, I've never had Carp. The Poles I've celebrated with don't like it all.

Bringing home the live carp and keeping it for several days in the bath tub of cold water has been common practice for a long time.

I thought this was a joke when I first heard it a few years ago, until friends told me it was in fact quite true.

Not sure how happy I would be to eat something that had previously been swimming around happily in the bath if I'd seen it.

Slightly different kettle of fish to bringing one home from the supermarket already dead.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
24 Dec 2015 #137
I've never had Carp

Lucky you! Disgusting muck. I would rather starve. Now, some perch or pike, then you're talking. 4 types of fish on the Dougpol table tomorrow - none of them remotely as tasteless as carp.
mafketis 23 | 7,775
24 Dec 2015 #138
Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic are among Europe's biggest carp markets.

Carp is also the fish of choice in Hungarian fish soup. I remember having it under the bridge in Szeged (one of the iconic places it's made). Impoverished people were hanging around the edges of the outside dining tables seeing how much the foreign tourists could eat before abandoning the effort at which point they zoomed in and made short work of it.

I finished most of mine (at least it was very spicy) but the friend I was travelling with (Polish) didn't even finish a third of it.....
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Dec 2015 #139
fish of choice

Of course, even earlier the carp swimming in the Chinese emperor's pond were once reserved for the imperial family. Any commoners caught poaching reportedly paid for it with his life. To this day various carp (common, silver, black, etc.) are regarded as delicacies in the Far East.

Polish Christmas

Youngsters often wonder how it's possible for Święty Mikołaj to bring gifts to kids the world over on a single evening. The answer is simple. Just tell them that St Nick has legions of little angel helpers to assist him.
smurf 39 | 1,981
24 Dec 2015 #140
Just tell them that St Nick has legions of little angel helpers to assist him.

No, that's not how it works. Elves work for Santy, The North Poles is too cold for angels coz Mr. God doesn't let them wear much clothes ;)

This is: santatracker.google.com/#tracker
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Dec 2015 #141
Tell it to the horse marines! But this is Wigilia so your ignorance is forgiven. Wesołych, bogatych, suto zakrapianych i pełnych nieprzyzwoitego obżarstwa Świąt oraz dużo bardzo drogich prezentów pod choinkę!
smurf 39 | 1,981
24 Dec 2015 #142
Tell it to the horse marines!

Yea, sure, cool story bro.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Dec 2015 #143
Wigilia

There are many beautiful and deeply moving Polish kolędy but at Pasterka this one stanza has been known to moisten many an eye. It combines Divine Providence, home, family and patriotic love of Poland -- the things most Poles cherish:

Podnieś rękę, Boże Dziecię
Błogosław ojczyznę miłą
W dobrych radach, w dobrym bycie
Wspieraj jej siłę Swą siłą
Dom nasz i majętność całą
I wszystkie wioski z miastami
A Słowo Ciałem się stało
I mieszkało między nami.

suiting up

That's part of the magic of Wigilia -- everything must be different, unique and one-a-yearish so family members come scrubbed, groomed and decked out in their holiday best. Advocates of the slob chic (torn, faded jeans, scruffy sport shoes, T-shirts, baseball caps) might do well to experience something different from the run-of-the-mill booze-up just this once a year..

Siblings have the same gene pool

A while back there was this thing on TV about a British set of identical twins. One was a health and fitness nut, never smoked, drank lightly and only infrequently, watched his weight and cholesterol, worked out regularly and pursued an all-round healthy lifestyle. The other was the exact opposite: a greatly overweight couch potato who ate, drank and smoked heavily and avoided physical exercise like the plague. So what happened? The fitness freak died of a heart attack at 48 and the other twin lived well into his mid-70s.

Christmas in Poland

Aside form herring, carp, mushroom and sauerkraut dishes, another sine qua non on the Wigilia table is kompot -- stewed dried fruit. It used to be a stewed fruit dessert served in a small bowl and eaten with a spoon, and some families still serve it that way. But after the war (maybe to stretch it in a war-torn counrty?) it somehow evolved into a watered-down drink with only some fruit in the glass to be eaten wtih a spoon.

Traditionally it should contain 12 different fruits in honour of the 12 Apostles, but how to come up with 12 dried fruits? Here is the answer (count htem!):

prunes, raisins, dried currants, dried cranberries, dried apples, cherries, apricots, pears, figs, dates, fresh orange and lemon slices.

cool story

Not a story. Santa was a corporate advertising gimmick designed to persaude people to part with their hard-earned cash and clutter their homes with loads of uneeded junk to make the banks and merchandisers even richer than they already are. St Nicholas really walked God's good earth, gave up his fortune to help the poor and always aided those in need. Today he serves as a symbol of disinterested altruism -- or in lingo you'll understand -- performing good deeds without waiting about to be thanked. We certainly could use more of that in our selfish, greedy, ego-indulging times.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
24 Dec 2015 #144
So then - Merry Christmas folks from a green and very pleasant 13 degrees celsius Katowice :)
OP Atch 17 | 3,064
24 Dec 2015 #145
I've hardly had time to scratch myself today but must take a moment to wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas. Love to everyone.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Dec 2015 #146
hardly had time to scratch myself

Did you perchance have to prepare Wigilia single-handedly?
TheOther 6 | 4,086
24 Dec 2015 #147
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Dec 2015 #148
Merry Christmas

Wesołych Świąt!
johnny reb 20 | 4,515
24 Dec 2015 #149
I've hardly had time to scratch myself today

Stand under the mis'tle - toe Atch.
I am sure someone around there would be happy to scratch your itch for you being it's the season of giving.
Just saying............
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Dec 2015 #150
Christmas

Before you chuck out your Christmas tree please remember that in Poland the Christmas season lasts from the start of Advent until Candlemas (2 Feb). The latter is known in Polish as Święto Matki Boskiej Gromnicznej (Our Lady of the Thunderbolt Candle). On that day the candles lighted at the bedside of the dead and dying are blesssed in church. The name of the candle stems from the folk belief that it protects the home from lightning bolts. Also wards off wolves. A well-known painting shows the BVM outside a cottage keeping a pack of wolves at bay with such a candle.


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