The most beautiful day of the year - Wigilia...
"Wigilia" means "awaiting time". It is a very special day for many of us. The closest one to my heart.
Traditionally, all of us gather together with the closest family and relatives.
There is one extra plate for a poor stranger, late or unexpected guest - anyone who might knock to our door this evening... No one should feel lonely or forgotten...
While the kids are looking for the first star to appear in the sky, the moms are busy preparing dinner. One of the sweetest traditions that I cherish in my memories. First star symbolizes the Bethlehem star leading The Three Wise Men to the stable where Jesus was born.
What's on the table?
There is always a soup: red borscht - "czerwony barszcz" (made of beets) with mini mushroom dumplings called "uszka" or mushroom soup - "zupa grzybowa". There is a big choice of fish - carp, cod fish, herrings prepared in various ways... And of course at least one dish consisting of sauerkraut and mushrooms, compote from dried fruit and a large selection of sweets.
Talking about sweets! The number one Christmas cake is, with no doubt, a poppy seed cake, known as "makowiec".
The dinner menu can be much larger than this, and will vary from home to home and region to region.
After an enjoyable meal, families sing Christmas carols and open presents.
Some people open gifts on Christmas Day, however at my home, we would open them on Christmas Eve. This beautiful night ends by attending "Pasterka" - a joyful midnight mass.
Wigilia is undoubtedly the most beautiful and magical FAMILY day in the whole year...