Just for this Christmas Holiday Season!
This Polish Christmas gift set is a terrific value and a great way to prepair for your Christmas Wigilia
Celebration. A $17.00 value pack now for only $13.95! Catch this limited time offer while supplies last.
This special Polish Christmas gift set includes:
- Package of 5 white Christmas Wafers (plural: Opłatki) (Item # LA015):
• 3 large wafers measuring 6.0" L x 3.25" W
• 2 small wafers measuring 2.0" L x 3.25" W
These wafers are hygienically sealed in polybags with a varying color image on the front of the package, while each wafer has a different nativity theme image on the front.
- Bundle of Christmas Hay called sianko measuring approx. 4.25" L x 4.5" W (Item # LA016)
- The book Polish Holidays: An Introduction by Peter Zaremba (Item # BK2573). This handy introductory guide to Polish holidays provides just enough factual information to keep you informed, while presenting it all in an easy to digest packet. Contained within is information, pictures, recipes, and songs. Holidays include the Harvest Festival (Dożynki), All Saints' Day (Zaduszki), St. Nicholas' Day (Mikołajki), Christmas Eve (Wigilia), Christmas (Boże Narodzenie), New Year's Eve (Sylwester), Three Kings (Trzej Królowie), Carnival (Karnawał), Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek), and Easter (Wielkanoc). Impress your family and friends by being informed!
The opatki covers come in a variety, please allow us to make the selection for you.
The Wigilia or Christmas Eve Vigil Feast is the holiest of all the nights of the year in the Polish home. The Wigilia table is set with a white table cloth under which is placed a piece of hay (sianko in Polish) in memory of the Christ Child's humble birth. The hay and cloth represent the manger and the veil of Mary which would swaddle the infant Jesus. In the center of the table is placed the Christmas Wafer (oplatek in Polish), often in a bed of hay, sometimes also with a representation of the Baby Jesus. The family's best china and crystal grace the table as this is a sacred night. The candles are lit after the youngest child has spotted the first evening star.
Tradition also dictates that an empty place be set for an unexpected guest—in memory of ancestors (for their spirit to occupy) or perhaps for Jesus himself. This is in keeping with the core Polish adage, "Gość w dom, Bóg w dom" — "Guest in the home is God in the home."
Another part of this Polish family Christmas Tradition is the breaking the Christmas Wafer (oplatek) during the Wigilia as their ancestors before them have done during the Christmas Celebration uniting the past with the present… heaven with earth.
The sacred white wafers, much like those used for Holy Communion (unleavened wafers baked from pure wheat flour and water), are shared with each person present. The wafers are embossed with elegant Christmas related religious images. Family members and friends break off a piece of oplatek and give it to one another to eat. During the exchange best wishes and blessing are expressed as well as forgiveness. The breaking and exchanging part of oplatek is intend to remind participants of the importance of Christmas, God, and family. This is the most emotional time of the holiday for the Polish family—the sharing expression of love and forgiveness in celebration and tradition.
The Vigil revolves around the importance of the Christmas Wafer. It literally unites family wherever they are on the Earth. Christmas Wafers have been mailed to each other during the holy season to solidify family unity. Send this Christmas set to a loved one today to continue sharing this yearly ritual and rich heritage.