Christmas in Poland vs Romania - Christmas Around the Globe.

Thanks to Anda  from The Twisted Red Ladybug for helping my Christmas traditions from around the globe series continue.  I am currently at my last German class of the year! pretty exciting!  Her post will be a two part series, here's part one:
Dear friends of Diana,

Here is yet another takeover of Diana's blog by foreigners ;)) Fear not as I do not come with hidden agenda, nor with secret weapons, well, unless you consider a LadyBug a weapon. :) 
My name is Anda Alexandra Rosiek and I am a Romanian expat living in Krakow for over 4 years now. I am not afraid of garlic (not a vampire) and I fell in love with this magical city since the very beginning. 

I "met" Diana online and I was intrigued by her lovely idea of doing a "Christmas around the globe" series. I have been blogging for more than 2 years, mainly about Krakow, Poland tourist information and Romania. :) Diana told us it would be nice if we could follow to 4 main questions that she posed, so I thought I would give it a go, without further ado, here's part 1 of Christmas in Poland and in Romaina...

What does Christmas look like in your home/host country. 

Christmas, in Romania, a family celebration. I remember when I was a teenager I could clearly see that Christmas you celebrate with the family and your loved ones and New Year's Eve was always with friends.

When I was small I used to go caroling the day before Christmas and during Christmas. It was a tradition to go around family and friends, through the snow - I remember a couple of times, going with my sister and my niece, when it was so slippery I would always end up on my bum...

We would receive the traditional home-made bagels & apples & oranges (if we were lucky - consider Romania was under comunism when I was a very wee lass) & sometimes we would get also cash. We would always split it up at the end and have goodies on it. 

Christmas tree in Krakow

Christmas, in Poland, very much the same - it is a family meeting time, people gathering around from all the corners of the world (consider now that Marek's brothers work abroad).

They also go caroling and receive the same things. I even observed that the carols musical lines are the same :) I always loved Christmas as there was snow and kids could go out and play until their nose froze and they would run inside, where they would warm by the fire - eating hot pies/cookies that Granny made and drinking mulled wine (or hot tea for children, but I always loved the sticky sweet smell of mulled wine!).

What are the similarities and differences between Christmas in your home and host countries. 

The biggest difference between the Christmas in Poland and in Romania (I consider them both my home - home away from home - I always like to say that home is where your heart is and if your heart is in a million places, then your home is the world!):

Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus for Polish people). Santa comes in the evening between the 6th and 7th of December with the presents - or the piece of wood, if you were naughty! - and for Christmas there are no presents, there is only the time spend in the family. It is customary for all the family to gather for the 24th and 25th - even stores, malls and shops are closed during that time! The day after Christmas you usually go and visit relatives, the next of kin.

Also, Poland is a Catholic country so traditions are a bit different. They start Christmas dinner by reading from the Bible. They also greet each other with wishes and then the meal starts. There must always be 12 dishes (the 12 apostoles) and one must contain fish - no other meat than fish is allowed! 
Carriage ride in Krakow
Christmas in Romania means twice the presents - one time for Saint Nicholas, where kids usually received gifts consisting of sweets and fruits, and one time for Santa Claus, where kids get the big present of the year... you know... like the Barbie doll you have been waiting for whole year!

Christmas also means a lot of food, but not necessary 12 dishes... You need to make sure you are ready as the dishes (as in Poland) are usually heavy. For Romania, dishes made out of pork are a must! We have several types of sausages and products made of pork meat. You might find it odd/disgusting but we also like to eat the ears, tails and the skin of the pig (but it has to be well made, well burned, well cleaned). We usually sing carols as well but we are orthodox, so we do not have the ritual of reading from the Bible - and I think that is a pity! I think we should all have certain thoughts upon the upcoming Christmas!

Christmas in Krakow
Anyway... Thank you all for listening to me rant about Poland and Romania, and if you liked it please feel free to drop by my blog or like my Facebook page. If ever you are in one of these 2 lovely countries more specifically in Kraków, let me know and if I am free I promise I can show you around. If not, I will at least give your some tips and tricks. 

Have a Merry Christmas everyone! (Polish: Wesolych Swiat!; Romanian: Craciun fericit!)

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves her adoptive homeland.

This month's sponsor:
The Morrell Tale - Every life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers


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