You see people sharing their oplatek
You see people sharing their oplatek

Sharing an opłatek every Wigilia is a tradition that my family have continued to do every Christmas Eve. In Poland, it is more common to open presents, eat dinner and celebrate on Christmas Eve, in which we call it Wigilia. We call it Wigilia because the tradition is to sit down with your family and have a big dinner. Part of our religion is to not eat any meat or eat as much meat during the month of December. So on Wigilia all the dishes consist of no meat, more fish dishes and borscht with uszka which is a soup made out of beets and is a staple dish on Wigilia. But before any of the eating everyone is handed an opłatek. You have to be very careful  with the opłatek since it’s very thin and easy to break. Once everyone gets their opłatek, you stand up and go around the room and share your opłatek. You offer your opłatek to a family member, where they break off a little piece while you wish them wellness and health for the new year. Now it’s your turn to break off a piece of the opłatek and eat it. You have to save all of your opłatek to be able to have enough to share with your whole family. In my family we see it as good luck for the future and more money and just to stay healthy. There hasn’t been one Wigilia that we haven’t shared an opłatek with my family. The idea of the opłatek is to bring your family closer during the holiday season. It’s not only a tradition to share with your family but also with your friends. In my Polish school, the day before break starts we always also share an opłatek with everyone in the class as well as the teacher.  

Place(s): Poland

– Olivia

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