There are many different cultures and traditions within our continent. To learn a little more about the culture and traditions working within [company name], we highlight a new culture each time in this column. In this edition we tell you a little bit more about: Poland.
Interesting facts about Poland and our traditions
International Women's Day is a holiday (derived from labor movements) in North America and Europe. In Poland, the holiday became very popular during the Polish People's Republic. In the 1970s, flowers became the most popular gifts given to women on this special day. The most common flowers were carnations and tulips. On this day, many Polish people visit women they know to give them the best wishes and give them carnations or tulips.
Name Day is another day that is particularly popular in Poland (with the exception of Upper Silesia and Kashubia). A person's name day is the memorial day of a saint of the same name (Catholic or Orthodox). Name day is an ideal occasion for family gatherings and grand celebrations. Name days are celebrated even bigger than a regular birthday.
Our traditions often come from the countryside, from the people, and relate to supernatural and magical phenomena. For example, during St. Andrew's Day, we - mainly girls - play a game where the future is predicted by pouring melted wax into water, in order to find out when they will get married, who their lover will be and what they will do in the future.
At the beginning of spring, "Marena" (the goddess of the Winter) is recreated in the form of a doll made of straw. This doll is wrapped in cloths and decorated with beads and ribbons. In the evening, this doll is set on fire and thrown into a river. This symbolizes the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.
Polish Easter traditions are beautiful and colorful. On Easter Saturday, Polish people bless food in churches and carry it in colorfully decorated baskets. The dishes consist mainly of decorated and painted eggs and ham, bread, salt, pepper, horseradish and an Easter cake. The houses are full of catkins, flowers (especially daffodils, which are part of this holiday season), delicious pastries, sour soups, egg dishes, and poultry. Easter cake is eaten at the Easter breakfast, which is usually made after the resurrection.
In Poland we have plenty of beautiful Christmas traditions. Some stemming from folk beliefs, others related to a religious rite, but many are a combination of both. Speaking of the Polish Christmas traditions, we have to mention the wafer, which we share at the Christmas table while giving each other the best wishes for the next year. We go to the table for supper on Christmas Eve when the first star appears in the sky, to symbolize the star of Bethlehem leading the wise men to the stable where Jesus was born. According to traditions, the Christmas table should be decorated with hay (in many homes it is placed under the tablecloth) as a sign of the nativity in which Christ was born.
These are just some of the many traditions that make our country unique. Do you want to know more about the Polish culture and/or a tradition? We love to tell you more about it!