The Polish customs and traditions are the mixture of secular and religious rituals. They are connected with religious rites and different types of religious holidays - specific, important events in humans' lives such as pregnancy, birth, wedding, funeral and generally speaking family life. Some of the customs relate  with the specificity of urban life and rural life.

·     St. Andrew's Day (30 November) - in the evening girls play different games to fortune-tell on their love and future marriage. The tradition of pouring liquid wax through a key hole onto the cold water and reading the shade of the congealed wax is known all over the country.

[costume contest winners]

St. Andrew's Day in our school

· All Saints - All Souls' Day (1 and 2 November) these days are devoted to the memory of the dead. On these days we put flowers and light candles on the graves of our relatives and friends. The candles are a symbol of the living memory of the ones who have passed away or symbolize Christ and the eternal light.


·     Advent - the period before Christmas which lasts 4 weeks. Traditionally it is the time of prayer that is why at Advent there are no dance parties.


· Christmas Eve dinner and family meeting is celebrated in most of the Polish homes. Christmas dinner menu should consists of 12 dishes. Each dish symbolises a month of a year. The menu is different in different parts of Poland. Most popular are:
Starters - red borscht (beetroot soup), mushroom soup, fish soup, dried fruit soup. The dinner is traditionally a meatles meal so cod or other kind of fish is served for the main course. Other dishes iclude herrings, noodles with poppy seeds, cabbage with peas, dried fruit compote, carp in auspic and other ones. According to the tradition, the dinner starts at the time when the very first star appears in the sky. Everybody should taste each of the twelve dishes to have good luck in the following year.


· Shrovetide - so called 'miesopust'- celebrated at the end of Carnival, over the three days before Ash Wednesday. Traditionally those days were full of fun, dance and revelry.


'Paczki' are eaten on Shrove Thursday all over the country

· Ash Wednesday, called Popielec in Polish. We go to church then and have aour heads sprinkled with some ash as a symbol and reminder of the need of

· Easter Lent called 'Great Lent' - it is the time of focusing on refraining from bad deeds and such behaviour.

· Easter Monday - dyngus - Easter Monday - the most important custom of Easter Monday is called Dyngus or Smigus. One of the traditions is wet Dyngus - the custom of sprinkling each other with water on Easter Monday. The other one is dry Dyngus - the custom of whipping each other with willow branches.

· Marzanna - people used to destroy, burn or drown an effigy called Marzanna. The effigy personified the winter and death, sickness, evil and tribulations facing people. Many people, especially in rural areas, still celebrate this custom.

Created by: Klaudia and Asia






Drawing of Marzanna by Ko-ko, photos by: A. Blalteberg, ¯. Davies, Gimnazjum #4, Gdynia

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adventskranz-1.Advent.jpg{{CC by Micha L. Rieser}}
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andriolli_dyngus.jpg {{PD by Miicha³ Elwiro Andriolli}}

Gimnazjum #4, Gdynia, Poland
St. Mark's Senior Second. School,Meera Bagh,
New Delhi, India

St. Paul Lutheran School, Farmington, USA

[link to the GVC pages]