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Many people in the world have religious holidays. Christians celebrate Christmas-the Day when Christ was born and the days after it. They also celebrate Easter-the Day when Christ rose from the dead-The Resurrection. In Poland and in the countries where we can hear English, people have similar and different traditions. The same is the family meeting, Christmas cards, the carolling, the gifts, the feast, the Christmas tree and the best wishes. But celebrations, the holy days and the food are not the same. Easter and the days before and after it are celebrated in Poland, but not so much in Britain and the USA
In Poland we have Christmas Eve. It is on December 24th. Before it people send Christmas cards to family and friends. It is a very important day for Polish Christian people. The families meet at the table. They share wafer and wish one another the best wishes like: good health, luck, big money etc. They decorate Christmas tree-fir or pine tree with paper stars, angels, toys, nuts and glass balls. Under or on the Christmas tree there is small Crib-the symbol of the place in Bethlehem where Baby Jesus was born. In the Crib there are paper, stone or plastic figures of Saint Joseph, Holy Mary and Baby Jesus. Polish Christmas Eve is a big feast, but we can not eat meat. People eat many dishes-sometimes traditional twelve. The feast starts with soup: beetroot soup with mushroom ravioli or other regional soup. Later they eat fish. The most popular is carp, trout or herring-fried, cooked or in jelly. People eat many kinds of dumplings: with cabbage, cheese, mushrooms or poppy seeds.!
The families also eat other dishes made of cabbage or beans. The interesting dish is kutia-people eat it in the east of Poland. In it there are nuts, honey, almonds, cooked wheat and dried fruit. Many cakes are on Christmas Eve. The most popular are: poppy seed cake, gingerbread or dried fruit and nuts cake. Later people drink stewed dried fruit and sometimes wine. Then the families sing carols and talk. The children and sometimes adults give presents to one another-the gifts are in decorated boxes or in bags. The present brings Santa Claus, The Star or Angel. At midnight they go on a special mass-Pasterka-to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus. The next day, on December 25, is Christmas-the families eat and talk again, sing carols and go to church. On Christmas we can eat meat. We eat salads, cakes, smoked meat, sausages, pate, roasted chicken or turkey filled with dried fruit and drink beetroot soup and good alcohol. The next day is St. Stephen?™s day. It is on Decem!
ber 26. The families eat the rest of food, talk, visit friends with wishes, sing carols and go to church to remember St. Stephen-the martyr.
In the countries where we can hear English, the situation is the same, but they do not have Christmas Eve, wafer or Pasterka. The Scots are serious on Christmas. They are happy on New Year's Eve that they call Hogmanay. This word is a name of out cake which children eat on New Year's Eve. There is the tradition that strangers bring good luck. In some areas, it is better to have a dark-haired or fair-haired stranger in the house. The Scots call this custom "first footing." But the British and American wish and meet on Christmas to be happy. Before it, like Polish people, they send Christmas cards to family and friends. It is a very important day for British and American people-but they are not always Christian. For many Brits and Americans, Christmas is only commercial holiday. Like in Poland, the families meet at the table. They hang holly and ivy wreaths-this is very old British tradition. It shows the people that spring is soon. They have ancient Druid custom-kissing under!
the mistletoe. In this tradition you can kiss everyone you want, but the person must be under the mistletoe. British and American people decorate Christmas tree with ribbons, paper stars, angels, toys, golden and colourful chains. Christmas tree is a German custom. It became popular in England in 1841, when Prince Albert had a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria and their children. Like Polish people, British and American families say good things to one another. On Christmas Brits and Americans eat a lot. For many years in England, people ate a roasted boar's head. Now the most popular is roasted turkey and Christmas chocolate pudding-the rest of food is in the family tradition for that day. British people have a very interesting Christmas drink. The wassail is the ancient hot beverage. In it there is: ale, cream, roasted apples, nuts, eggs and spices. When the bowl with wassail is in the room, a family sing traditional carol about the drink, and th!
en they drink it. On Christmas the families talk and sing carols. This custom is English. In the Middle Ages groups of singing people-"waits"-travelled from house to house and sung carols. Many popular old British carols are from the nineteenth century. The most popular Christmas carol is ?œSilent Night?. People sing it in many languages-in Polish, English or French. Carolling is also popular in Wales. It is called eisteddfodde and people sing by a harp. Like in Poland, the children and adults give presents to one another. They open the gifts on Christmas afternoon. This custom is Victorian. Before it was more popular to give presents on New Year's Day or Twelfth Night. The presents bring Santa Claus, but in Britain children have Father Christmas. Children write letters to Santa Claus, but for Father Christmas they burn them in the fireplace, because Father Christmas can read the smoke. British and American children hang stockings near the fireplace and then Santa Cl!
aus or Father Christmas drops the gifts into them. The next day after Christmas is Boxing Day-December 26-the feast of St. Stephen. It is rather in Great Britain, not in the USA. On this day at every English church there is the box for the money for the poor. Also, this is the day that servants celebrated with their families. In Ireland on St. Stephen's Day young men wear strange dresses and masks, and parade through the streets. This is the Wren Boys' Procession. They carry long pole with a holly bush. The bush has a wren in it, and the young men beg for money.
Easter and the time before and after it are not so much celebrated in Britain and the USA. In Poland it is very important holiday. Polish people prepare to it very much. About one month before Easter there is the time called Lent. In Poland, when we have the last Thursday before Lent, people farewell the Carnival because it ends soon. On this Thursday people eat a lot of fat cakes: doughnuts or chrust-a kind of crisp cake fried in oil-are the most popular. You must eat a lot of it, because Christian religion says that on Lent you can not eat fatty food. People also have the last Carnival parties before Lent. The last parties end at midnight from Tuesday to Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday people should stop dancing. They go to church and priest puts ash on their heads. People must remember that one day they die. On Ash Wednesday Lent begins. Polish people eat special food. The most popular is herring-in cream or in oil with onion. During Lent people go to church to the Way of!
the Cross-they think about the death of Christ. When Lent ends there is The Holy Week. Before it, Polish people send Easter cards to family and friends. It starts with Maundy Thursday. On that time people are sad and serious. On Good Friday there is a special celebration in churches. People confess their sins to the priests. Then priests make a special grave. The figure of dead Christ is put into it and decorated with flowers and burning candles. There are guards near the grave-they are firemen or policemen and sometimes wear clothes like Roman soldiers. People-especially old women sing church songs near this grave. The same is on Holy Saturday but we have also other tradition. The families bring food to church in wicker baskets. In those decorated baskets are Easter eggs, the Lamb of God, boiled eggs, sausages, smoked meat, salt and pepper, bread, wax chickens, ducks or hares. The priest blesses the baskets with holy water. Eggs and Easter eggs, chickens, ducks, lambs and !
hares are symbols of abundance and new life on spring. At five o?™clock in the morning of Easter Sunday the grave of Christ disappears and there is Christmas Resurrection and families go to Resurrection mass. There are explosions of firecrackers which boys make. It can be dangerous. After it people go home and eat special Easter breakfast. There is a certain tradition. Polish people share blessed boiled eggs from the basket and wish one another the best wishes like on Christmas. On the tables there are Easter eggs, the Lamb of God, wax chickens, ducks or hares. Polish people eat żurek-traditional soup made from fermented rye with eggs, sausage and bacon; some salads with bread and smoked meat. There are popular cakes on Easter: pound cake and mazurek-a kind of frosted cake decorated with chocolate and almonds. They talk and they are happy. On the next day is Easter Monday and there is also a very special custom. People sprinkle one another with water. It is a symbol o!
f new life for people because Christ rose from the dead. It is poured in glasses and even in buckets. It is more popular in villages but you can not pour water on people in the afternoon. Men and boys sprinkle women and girls and vice versa. People meet with family and friends and wish one another best wishes.


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19.11.2006 (12:50)

po jakiego dajesz to tu jeszcze raz jesli istanieje juz taka praca??!