Monday, 1 December 2014

Tradition | Wigilia

My Grandpa is Polish, and every Christmas Eve we have a special Polish celebration called Wigilia. I love Christmas Eve, and spending time with family over Wigilia is something so special to me, and I hope I do it forever! I apologise for the lack of quality pictures - these were taken before I began blogging so I didn't mind as much. Fingers crossed I will get some better ones this year...

Wigilia traditionally starts when the first star appears in the sky, but we are a little more relaxed about this rule. It depends whether Dad has a church service, or whether we go to the church service too. When we were younger (in my immediate family, we started Wigilia from the age of 12, when we began secondary school) we used to go to a present giving service then come home for Wigilia. If it is a leap year then there will be 12 courses for the meal - its so crazy! I'm usually extremely full on those years. Other years it may be 5 or 6 courses, which is manageable...

The first thing that happens, every Wigilia, is that we break a wafer. My mum starts, as she is the cook, and she breaks a bit of wafer with every person there. The next eldest female goes, and so on until the eldest male goes (once the youngest female has gone) and everyone works their way around everyone. It sounds quite confusing, and it can be quite confusing but I love this part of the tradition. You tell the other person how much you love them, why you are proud of them and wish them "health, wealth and happiness" for the next year. This is definitely my favourite part of the meal, it's so special to remind people why you love them and this is a lovely way to do it. Guaranteed me and my mum are teary by the end of it, every single year!

Now its time for the food! Our first course is called Barcsz and Uska, and its my favourite. I would have this part of the meal every week if I could. It is basically beetroot soup (I hate beetroot usually, but the soup is amazing!) with little pasty parcels which we call Pixie ears! Inside the parcels is a mushroom and onion mixture, and they taste incredibly. My mouth is watering thinking about them, hurry up Christmas Eve!

The first course is easily my favourite one. However, there is plenty more to eat after that! We have fish, potatoes, red cabbage, pierogi and polushki which are like Gnocchi I guess, and cwikwa which is horseradish and beetroot and very spicey! I love the food that is served for Wigilia and I'm always so excited for it.

 This year will be really special because our grandparents are joining us, I'm already so excited! It's not long now...

Do you have any special Christmas traditions? I'd love to hear about them!

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