Polish Traditions

The traditional forms of Polish life have grown out of the spirit of Christian Faith. Their high points, in all their wealth and diversity, are marked out by the Church calendar in its yearly cycle.

To quote H. E. the Archbishop Gawlina, the real beginning of Polish history dates from the acceptance of Christianity. Christianity brought new meaning to older forms of custom and rite and, during centuries of its inspiration, these have become a part and parcel of Polish national experience.

The following pages will be regularly updated to cover all the main Polish Traditions throughout the Ecclesiastical Calendar. Eventually we hope they will cover:

  • The Polish Christmas celebrations, beginning with Santa Claus or rather St. Nicholas day of the 6th December, through the Christmas Eve Supper, Midnight Mass, Christmas tree and carol singing, Nativity plays, etc.
  • The Polish Easter celebrations, beginning with Ash Wednesday, Lent and the traditions of Holy week including unique traditions such as the visits to "Our Lord's Grave" in specially decorated churches. The atmosphere of suspense and expectation culminating in the Service of Resurrection. The Easter Sunday in Polish homes, with its spirit of joy and good-will at a laden Easter Table, with its sugar Lamb and its blessed multi-coloured eggs (pisanki). Finally the ancient Polish tradition on Easter Monday of sprinkling water over the unwary (dingus),- which often is carried out with such enthusiasm that it would be better described as a thorough soaking!
  • The miracle of Spring finds it special expression in Poland in the May Marian evening services, in decorating wayside figures of Our Lady, in singing the Litany in the open. Flower bedecked and scented with lilac, the month of May is also a month of anniversaries dear to the heart of a Pole
  • June is the month of Whitsun green with fresh cut branches nailed to every doorway, a month of red peonies on the altars of Corpus Christi in town and country, of the magnificence of open air processions and church bells.

Due to the rich variety of Polish custom, many traditions are regional and may not be known to us, the authors of this web site. If you know of any such traditions, or would simply like to write an article about any tradition not yet covered, it will be most welcome. Please contact the Reverend Czeslaw Osika. Methods of contact may be found on the Contacts Page.

Please Note:

You are viewing the English scaled down version of our website. The Polish version includes more articles as well as current notices and news.

You may find our Polish Newsletter "Biuletyn" of interest (available in Polish only):

Rev. Piotr Redliński SCHR
Sławomir Strycharski SCHR
17 Victoria Street,

UK Tel: +44 1582 662807


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