Polish customs

A name day is one of the traditional
celebration in Poland. The origin of this
feast can be traced back to the Middle
Ages when Catholic names of saints have
been in the list of holidays celebrated in
commemoration of saints’ lives and
martyrs of the church. The church
promoted celebration of saints feast day
( nowadays called" name day") over
birthdays, as the birthday was seen as a
pagan tradition.
Name day is a special time for the family and
close friends to gather together.
Family and friends send special cards, e mails or
text messages to the person celebrating their day
simply to wish "All the best" and " A hundred
years". People who come to the party give flowers
and presents.
There are special names which are celebrated by everyone. For
instance Saint
Andrew. On the day of St. Andrew everyone celebrates this day in
a restaurant or they have parties at home. People pour wax and
try to guess the future from its shape.
A birthday is the day of a particular month and day on which a person was
born. Poles celebrate the first name day after their birthday.
Birthday party looks similar to a name day party. Family and friends also send
special cards, send messages and e mails . Others come to the party and give
the person who is celebrating birthday flowers and presents.
In Poland we specially celebrate first birthday of a child. Baby chooses
one thing from a group: money, glass, book, church's book. Chosen gift
determines the child’s character. We can guess if he or she will be
rich, intelligent or religious in a future.
My mother’s ninetieth birthday
Recently my mother celebrated her ninetieth birthday. She has a very
big family and we prepared a great surprise for her.
Her three daughters, including me, were hosting the birthday reception.
We prepared a birthday layer-cake with an inscription:
• We also put a single red rose in a vase
on the table as a symbol of love.
• Four grandchildren have made coloured
money-box for small coins for the
symbolic sake of peace.
• Nine great grandchildren had an
unusual idea for the birthday gift. They
made originally framed photographs:
the ones with pink frames from the girls
and the blue-framed ones from the
My mother received Holy Communnion and blessing from
the priest. At the end of reception she recited Maria
Konopnicka’s poem “Christ and children”. This moment
was particularly touching for the whole family, as she has
known this text all her life!
Polish wedding custom
Polterabend is one of the wedding customs
which is commonly celebrated in the western
and northern parts of Poland, especially in
Silesia, Wielkopolska and Kaszuby.
The word Polterabend comes from a connection of two
German words: verb “poltern” (to make a racket) and noun
“Abend” (evening).
Polterabend is mostly celebrated on the evening before the church
wedding. It usually takes place in front of the bride’s house. The young
couple generally announces the occasion, but does not specifically
send out individual invitations. Many couples treat this evening as an
opportunity to reward people whom they are unable to invite to the
The guests should bring glass, porcelain,
stoneware or ceramics with themselves. The
actual high point of the custom is throwing the
objects they have brought onto the ground. It is
believed, that broken glass brings luck and
happiness to the young couple and the noise
chases the bad ghosts away.
The couple must treat their guests
to alcohol and something to eat.
They also have to clean up the pile of shards. This is
supposed to make the couple aware that they will have to
face difficult conditions and situations in life together !!!