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Preparing to celebrate a Polish Christmas - here in Warrington
2:00pm Friday 20th December 2013 in News
CHILDREN across the borough will be waiting up on Tuesday night to see the arrival of Father Christmas.
But youngsters from the Polish community in town have already welcomed St Nicholas as part of their traditions.
And Polish shop Krakow invited young people down to its Buttermarket Street store to celebrate Saint Nicholas’ Day on December 6.
Many children, including British, Hungarian and Russian as well as Polish, turned out to greet St Nicholas and offer him his usual tipple of milk.
Oryslava Antonyuk, owner, said: “In Poland we have St Nicholas who comes to small children and gives them a present on December 6.
“But they have to be good but if you haven’t you get a stick.
“We usually help the Polish society in Warrington to run that holiday but this year we decided to do something different and host it for the whole community and have St Nicholas in the shop.”
Despite being miles away from home the Polish community still make sure that the festive period is one filled with traditions.
Polish children also have to write to St Nicholas with a list of presents they would like and the night before Name Day they must make sure their shoes are spotlessly clean as traditionally presents are left by them the next morning.
And although the Christmas period is based around friends and family there are also a few other celebrations that it would not be Christmas without.
Oryslava added: “On Christmas Eve we have a big supper which is the most important part.
“It’s meat and alcohol free and we always leave one plate out for if any spirits are here. On Christmas Eve everyone is also welcome to your table.
“There are 12 dishes on the table and the head of the family says a prayer then we go to the church for midnight Mass.
“We give presents on Christmas Eve when the first star appears in the sky and that is only when we can sit down to eat.”
The meal will always revolve around a fish, usually carp, being served along with dumplings with mushrooms and cabbage and begos - a cooked cabbage dish.
Cheesecake and poppy seed cake also fill the Christmas Eve feast.
“On Christmas Day and Boxing Day we visit friends and family and when you come to their house you have to sing a carol,” added Oryslava. “It’s more about family and being together than the presents.”
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