12 October 2010

Discover An Old Tradition: OPLATKI

Christmas is this wonderful time in the year filled with family traditions, love and warmth. The anticipation of this blessed season is a feeling like no other! The child in each of us never fails to marvel at the twinkling lights of the tree, the caroling, the Creche, the sweets and of course the stockings hanged by the chimney.

Too often in the festive preparations we forget what Christmas is really all about. Because families are often separated by many miles we also tend to forget our traditions and sadly we do not always pass them on to our children.

Christmas for me as a child was always a very special time of the year. I remember the lighting in the small shoppes, the greenery hanging at the door knockers, the glass ornaments adorning the Christmas tree with little candles perched on its branches and of course the Yule log. I also remember visiting less fortunate families with my Grand Mother delivering baskets of wonderful breads, jams and other confections and of course Midnight mass sitting in a special pew with our name engraved in the wood...

The Polish tradition of OPLATKI begins with a white wafer beautifully designed with images of Christmas. The entire family gathers around the festive table before the Christmas Eve meal and takes a turn to break off a piece of the wafer whilst wishing the person next to them happiness, good fortune, love and so on.

Even your favourite pet can participate with special colored wafers just for them in this symbolic festivity. History tells us this is a Polish tradition celebrated mainly by their nobility during the 17th Century but these days it is a meaningful tradition which is gaining in its popularity.

Now that I have learned what is OPLATKI I look forward to share it with my family and friends thus starting a new tradition in our home!

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia

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