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Christmas Dinner Ideas

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Christmas Day is a national holiday in Poland and most Poles spend the day feasting with their family. The Christmas meal is elaborate, served in the evening on 24 December, offering large quantities of food. This Christmas Eve meal is called Wigilia. After the first star appears in the sky, everyone shares the Christmas wafer (opłatek) and wishes good things for the coming year. Then supper begins. The meal is meatless, honouring Catholic tradition. Many households also prepare a great variety of special Christmas dishes, typically numbering 12 in honor of the 12 apostles. Dishes include: stuffed carp, fried carp, herring in wine sauce, herring in cream sauce, fruit compote, vegetable salad, soup (beetroot, mushroom, dried fruit over smashed chick peas, or fish) with uszka, pierogi, peas and carrots, boiled potatoes (except in Silesia, following a rhyme that states that bad luck ensues if one eats potatoes on Christmas Eve), mushroom cream sauce, sauerkraut, and makowiec (poppy seed rolled cake). Most households leave an empty plate at the table for an unexpected guest. Straw or hay is usually on the table to symbolise the manger. Some people place one scale from the carp in the wallet for financial success in the following year. During the season, pierniczki, or honey ginger cookies, are baked.

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