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CHRISTMAS IS A BELOVED HOLIDAY FOR POLISH PEOPLE. BEGINNING AT
SUNDOWN THE FAMILY SITS DOWN TO THE EVENING MEAL. THIS MEAL IS
MEATLESS AND CONSISTS OF NINE COURSES. WHEN THE FIRST EVENING
STAR APPEARS THE MEAL BEGINS. STRAW IS PLACED UNDERNEATH
A WHITE TABLECLOTH TO SIGNIFY CHRIST'S BIRTH IN A MANGER. A
CHRISTMAS WAFER CALLED "OPLATEK" IS SHARED WITH EACH MEMBER
OF THE FAMILY BEGINNING WITH THE FATHER. GOOD HEALTH, GOD'S
BLESSINGS AND JOY IS EXTENDED TO ALL. THIS COMPLETED, THE MEAL
BEGINS. THE SOUP IS CREAMED MUSHROOM. FOLLOWING WE HAVE PIEROGI
(DUMPLINGS) WITH CABBAGE OR POTATO AND CHEESE. WE ALSO HAVE A
VARIETY OF FISH. COLD HERRING, FISH IN GELATIN (GALARECIE),
BAKED FISH, RYE BREAD AND SAUR KRAUT (SAUERKRAUT) PREPARED WITH
MUSHROOMS. COFFEE AND BABKA FOR DESERT. AFTER THE PEOPLE RETURN
FROM MIDNIGHT MASS THEY BRING OUT THE BAKED HAM AND HOMEMADE
KIELBASA WHICH EVERY GOOD POLACK MAKES HIMSELF AND THEY EAT, DRINK
AND MAKE MERRY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE FROM MEAT ; FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
686 686.1.9
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Church

Date learned: 11-10-1971

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