Christmas

The most important night for many Eastern European cultures is the Christmas Eve (Wigilia) during which 12 meatless dishes is prepared to symbolize twelve Apostles. The table is beautifully set with a snow-white linen tablecloth under which is placed a piece of hay (sianko) to remind of Christ's birth in a stable. The tradition also indicates that an extra chair and a place setting is reserved for an unexpected guest who happens to pass by and in memory of those who are departed. Right before the supper, all members of the family break and share oplatek along with best wishes and blessings. For those members of the family who are absent, a piece of oplatek is often sent by mail to represent the love and family unity.

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