5 facts about British and Polish Christmas traditions

Christmas traditions can vary across different cultures and there are many interesting facts about how they are celebrated in some countries. We will look into British and Polish Christmas traditions as a special addition for Christmas 2015, following on from the video ”Christmas traditions across Polish, Chinese and British cultures” which has been produced jointly by Natalia from Translate Your Business and Bridget from Your Bridge to China. We hope you enjoy it. Watch the video below.

Keep reading to find out about Christmas Traditions and how Christmas is celebrated in the following countries: Poland and the United Kingdom.

1. The most important Christmas days

In the UK, Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th December. It is believed to be the most important day over the festive season whereas in Poland, Christmas Eve is believed to be the most important day, celebrated on the 24th December each year. Christmas Eve is known as Wigilia.

2. Christmas meals

In the UK, the Christmas meal usually consists of roast Turkey and roast vegetables with cranberry sauce and is eaten at lunchtime or early afternoon on Christmas day. Read more about traditional classic Christmas dishes and Christmas food traditions here: BBC Good Food.
In Polish Christmas tradition, the main Christmas meal is eaten in the evening and is called “Kolacja Wigilijna” which means “Christmas Eve Supper” in Polish. Before eating the Christmas meal, the family gathers around the table to break off the Christmas wafer. It is considered the most ancient and beloved of Polish traditions. On the table there are 12 dishes – they are meant to give you good luck for the next 12 months. To find out more about the 12 dishes, click here.
Polish Christmas Traditions

Polish Christmas Traditions: Kolacja Wigilijna as Christmas Eve Supper

3. Presents
Christmas in the UK is the perfect time to exchange presents. Children look for their Christmas presents in stockings or pillow-cases on Christmas Day morning whereas according to the Polish Christmas traditions presents in Poland are opened after the Christmas Eve Supper.

4. Santa

In the UK and Poland, many young children believe in Santa Claus and the magical story of Santa delivering presents to all the children around the world on his sleigh on Christmas Eve night.

5. Christmas trees

Christmas trees are a big part of the British and Polish festive traditions. An interesting fact is that the UK imports 1.6 million Danish Nordman Fir trees each year, making Denmark the leading Christmas tree exporters in Europe. Tree decorations have a long historical tradition in Poland, usually after finishing Christmas Eve Supper, families gathered around the Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols.
We hope you have now learnt something new about Christmas in other cultures. To find our more about Christmas traditions in China, read Your Bridge to China’s blog.

Translate Your Business and Your Bridge to China wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!

Photo credit: N. Skorczewska
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