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Polish Wigilia on UNESCO's world heritage list?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
25 Dec 2016 #1
Professor Jarosław Dumanowski of Toruń University has appealed to UNESCO to include Poland's Wigilia on their World Heritage List. The list includes unique or culturally significant traditions, customs, dances, arts, crafts and other manifestations of national identity.

The Polish Christmas Eve tradition involves extensive preprations in the family circle (restaurant-hopping is extremely rare on Wigilia), specific customs reflecting extensive symbolism: traditional once-a-year dishes, hay on the table-top, extra place at table, the sharing of opłatek symbolising love and reconciliaiton, family carol singing, Midnight Mass all permeated by much age-old lore and legend.

telewizjarepublika.pl/czy-polska-wigilia-znajdzie-sie-na-liscie-unesco,42410.html
elektrotomala - | 6
26 Dec 2016 #2
So when tradition collapses there will be no position on world heritage list?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Dec 2016 #3
tradition collapses

That's an intersting question. When a traditon goes out of style and is no longer practised it would depend on the UNESCO authorities what to do. They could delist it or, more pobably, leave it as a memento of bygone days and possibly indicate that it has become obsolete.
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
26 Dec 2016 #4
@elektrotomala
It last for centuries already lol. It wont collapse.
elektrotomala - | 6
31 Dec 2016 #5
@NoToForeigners

No, nowadays polish tradition is a mix of polish/ukrainian/german/jewish/ and. others cultures. You just can't say it has centuries.
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
1 Jan 2017 #6
@elektrotomala
I didn't say it hasn't evolved in time. It's still here and unlikely to collapse (disappear).
Wincig 2 | 185
3 Jan 2017 #7
Professor Jarosław Dumanowski of Toruń University has appealed to UNESCO to include Poland's Wigilia on their World Heritage List.

No grounds for this, Wigilia is hardly a unique Polish feature. It exists in most Christian countries under one form or another and is indeed spent most of the time with the family; what you describe as restaurant hopping pre Xmas or on Xmas day is the exception rather than the rule
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
3 Jan 2017 #8
what you describe as restaurant hopping pre Xmas or on Xmas day is the exception rather than the rule

Examples please. I know from first hand that Brits spend our Wigilia in McDonald's. Shops are normally open. They don't share opłatek etc. Them spending evening on 23 December at home sharing food is rather exception.
Wincig 2 | 185
3 Jan 2017 #9
I know from first hand that Brits spend our Wigilia in McDonald's.

We are talking about Dec 24th not 23rd aren't we? Well, part of my family is British, and until I became an adult most Christmases were spent with my cousins at my grandmother's in Somerset. It was always with home cooked food and a very nice atmosphere and the time was spent playing board games. I never remember us going out. Granted, there was no oplatek, but instead a glass ot two of port to accompany the stilton, and I do remember two or three of my uncle/aunts nipping out at 10 pm for a quick one at the pub but they were back within an hour at most. In France, in Provence where I now have a second home and where we often spend Xmas with the family, it is also spent at home around a nice table. We start to eat at around 8 pm, midnight mass is usually at 11 pm and we finish the meal (desserts) when we come back. The custom is to have 13 differents desserts (not dishes) on the table.
mafketis 21 | 7,483
3 Jan 2017 #10
Wigilia is hardly a unique Polish feature.

It sort of is if you take the particular traditions in their particular form into consideration. Many other catholic countries have a christmas eve dinner but protestants mostly don't bother.

Whether it qualifies as a UNESCO thing I'm not sure, but if the "Gastronomic meal of the French" qualifies then I don't see why Polish wigilia wouldn't.

unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/gastronomic-meal-of-the-french-00437

Whether Christmas Eve practices form other cultures would qualify is a separate issue.
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
3 Jan 2017 #11
Dec 24th not 23rd aren't we

Yeah. Don't know why I wrote 23rd lol. Anyway I lived in the UK for more than a decade and every year on Christmas Eve I've seen plenty Brits in McDonald's and generally behaving like it was a normal day so I'd rather think you going to Somerset was an exception and not a rule in Britain.
Atch 17 | 2,934
3 Jan 2017 #12
spending evening

at home sharing food is rather exception

generally behaving like it was a normal day

That's because Christmas in the UK is celebrated on the 25th. The main meal and celebration at which extended family gather takes place on the afternoon of the 25th. However there are many families in the British Isles who gather on Christmas Eve. Socialising on Christmas Eve is a tradition in the British Isles but it takes different forms. and often involves going out or meeting up with friends. For example I know a teacher in her thirties and every Christmas Eve she and six of her old school friends meet up for dinner. They've done it every year since they left school and have continued the tradition even though most of them are now married. Christmas in Britain and Ireland is very much a time of reunions and gatherings of different kinds.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
3 Jan 2017 #13
every year on Christmas Eve I've seen plenty Brits in McDonald's and generally behaving like it was a normal day

that might be because Xmas eve IS a 'normal day' in the UK, A working day anyway. Obviously people tend to leave work early...but.
mafketis 21 | 7,483
3 Jan 2017 #14
Xmas eve IS a 'normal day' in the UK, A working day anyway

In the US both the 24th and 26th are normal working days (no boxing day for us, we're made of sterner stuff!)

But considering some of the other things granted UNESCO status I think it's completely appropriate for Polish Wigilia to be listed.
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
4 Jan 2017 #15
For example I know a teacher in...

An exception. Wigilia in Poland has rules that make it tradition. 12 dishes, no red meat, hay under the sheet, extra seat for an unexpected visitor, midnight time mass. It's not simply "meeting up with old friends for a dinner".
Wincig 2 | 185
4 Jan 2017 #16
Once again, you will find this not unique to Poland :

12 dishes: in France/Provence, 13 desserts
no red meat: in my Polish family, it is no meat at all
hay under the sheet: OK (although never seen it practised in my Polish family)
extra seat: same in France/Provence
midnight mass: same in France/Provence

In addition, there are "crèches" laid (birth of Jesus with the animals.;) in most French homes
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
4 Jan 2017 #17
@Wincig
Fish is meat too so...

Anyways I see no reason for France not trying to get on the list too.

Additionally all your posts clearly show your bias against Poland and all Polish so there's no point to waste time on a discussion with you.

Have a good day.
mafketis 21 | 7,483
4 Jan 2017 #18
Once again, you will find this not unique to Poland :

The particular dishes (which are pretty stable over time and very different from what people would be eating in France) and the ritual of opłatek help distinguish it.

There's no single thing that is particularly unique to Poland but the whole overall structure is unique.

Also Christmas Eve is far more important than Christmas Day in Poland (certainly not the case in most catholic countries).
DominicB - | 2,679
4 Jan 2017 #19
There's no single thing that is particularly unique to Poland but the whole overall structure is unique.

That sentence would be just as true if you substituted the name of any other European country for the word "Poland". Not a particularly convincing argument.

Also Christmas Eve is far more important than Christmas Day in Poland (certainly not the case in most catholic countries).

Even less convincing.
mafketis 21 | 7,483
4 Jan 2017 #20
Did you check out the link the Gastronomic Meal of the French?

"a customary social practice for celebrating important moments in the lives of individuals and groups, such as births, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, achievements and reunions. It is a festive meal bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking. "

or

"The gastronomic meal should respect a fixed structure, commencing with an apéritif (drinks before the meal) and ending with liqueurs, containing in between at least four successive courses, namely a starter, fish and/or meat with vegetables, cheese and dessert. Individuals called gastronomes who possess deep knowledge of the tradition and preserve its memory watch over the living practice of the rites,"

If that could be listed then so can/should Polish wigilia.
DominicB - | 2,679
4 Jan 2017 #21
If that could be listed then so can/should Polish wigilia.

Considering the nature of the list, which is not meant to be comprehensive, not at all, precisely because the list already contains the French example, so it doesn't need another such similar example. Sounds more like a case of me-too-ism. And sorry, but I've personally experienced Christmas meals in four European countries myself, including Poland (twelve times), and can't say that the Polish one was any more "unique" than the German, Danish or British ones. Personally, I thought the Danish one was more endearing and charming, but that's personal opinion.

Sorry, but this sounds more like a common case of me-too-ism.
Atch 17 | 2,934
4 Jan 2017 #22
Wigilia in Poland has rules that make it tradition.

As does Christmas Day in the British Isles. You're implying that Brits spend their Christmas in MacDonalds and have no traditions.

Look, it's like this. For practising Christians in Britain and Ireland, the festival is a combination of religious observance and 'merry making'.

So the widely observed traditions are: midnight mass on Christmas Eve or a Christmas Eve service of Carols such as The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College, Cambridge. All over the UK churches have similar services. Home to bed following midnight mass, up at the crack of dawn.

If you didn't go to midnight mass then it's off to church. Many Anglicans attend both the midnight service and Matins or a communion service on Christmas morning.

Presents are opened on the morning of the 25th. When I was a kid, our Christmas stockings were at the end of the bed when we we woke up with small gifts which we could have straight away, then off to mass, and the main presents when we got home, watch the Papal blessing on telly.

Christmas lunch, usually turkey or a roast fowl, traditionally accompanied by cranberry sauce, a roast honey glazed ham, followed by Christmas pudding always set alight before being carried aloft to the table, mince pies and brandy butter etc. Christmas crackers are pulled and hats donned. General hilarity ensues, here we go a wassailing!

Afternoon nap, telly, maybe a walk, then afternoon tea and the ceremonial cutting of the Christmas cake (rich fruit cake iced with marzipan), then it's often board games or some kind of party games anyway, many Irish families would have a sing song, music, etc. Stay up until all hours. Bob's your uncle.
NoToForeigners 7 | 1,034
4 Jan 2017 #23
@Atch
I just seen many many young Brits occupying McDonald's every Xmas from 2006 till 2016. In Poland McDonald's isn't even open on Christmas Eve.
Harry
4 Jan 2017 #24
In Poland McDonald's isn't even open on Christmas Eve.

The one near where I live in Warsaw was certainly open when I went past it at ten o'clock in the evening on Xmas Eve. And the pubs in Warsaw Old Town were packed on Christmas day evening, took so long to get served we were buying three rounds at a time.
DominicB - | 2,679
4 Jan 2017 #25
I just seen many many young Brits occupying McDonald's every Xmas

You are aware that there a lot of people for whom Christmas is a day like any other, both in the UK and Poland?
Atch 17 | 2,934
4 Jan 2017 #26
In Poland McDonald's isn't even open on Christmas Eve.

Well it is for at least a half day as indeed are most shops in Poland on the 24th. However in the UK on Christmas Day, the 25th when Christmas is celebrated, shops are closed all day and only a handful of MacDonalds are open.
mafketis 21 | 7,483
4 Jan 2017 #27
The one near where I live in Warsaw was certainly open when I went past it at ten o'clock in the evening on Xmas Eve

So... you didn't have anyone to celebrate wigilia with or they kicked you out early..... sad, so so sad....

And the pubs in Warsaw Old Town were packed on Christmas day evening

December 25 is hardly a holiday in Poland (in that there are almost no rituals connected with it). no big surprise.
DominicB - | 2,679
4 Jan 2017 #28
you didn't have anyone to celebrate wigilia with or they kicked you out early..... sad, so so sad....

Or he was running around between his many friends houses. When you assume, you, you make an A$$ of U and ME.
Harry
4 Jan 2017 #29
he was running around between his many friends houses.

Actually the Mrs and I were on our way home after dinner etc with her family.

December 25 is hardly a holiday in Poland

All that time you claim to have spent in Poland and you still don't know that both 25 and 26 December are holidays here and 24 December is not a holiday. Or would you like to tell us that you think which day is a holiday and which isn't, so it doesn't matter what the facts are, just like you do when it comes to things you think people said when in reality they didn't?
mafketis 21 | 7,483
5 Jan 2017 #30
you still don't know that both 25 and 26 December are holidays here and 24 December is not a holiday

I'm not talking about work schedules and "official" holidays.

In a cultural sense Dec 24 is THE holiday and all the culturally important rituals happen then. The 25 and 26 are free days from work and don't have any particular rituals attached to them.


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