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Polish Customs
Holiday customs are part or the national culture in which all the people participate and therefore affect everyone.  These customs and traditions are passed down and cherished from generation to generation.


 
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Holiday customs are part or the national culture in which all the people participate and therefore affect everyone.  These customs and traditions are passed down and cherished from generation to generation.
The country folk of Poland have always led full lives, happier generally than people living in more urban areas because they are close to nature.  Since Poland for centuries had a vast peasant population, her endurance through the difficult trials which beset her was based upon the strength of her rural traditions and way of life.
Since Poles are deeply religious, it is only natural that their religion has influenced their calendar of holidays.  However, some of these traditions date back to pagan times.  When Poland accepted Christianity in the tenth century, the Church adapted some of these early rituals rather than impose new and strange customs on the people.  Thus the Church helped to preserve these Polish customs through the centuries.
Festivals or celebrations marked the seasonal changes and furnished an outlet for the esthetic and creative longing of the Polish peasant.  Although such holidays as "Gwiazdka" (Little Star) or Polish Christmas and "Wielkanoc" (Great Night) - the Polish Easter, are the most significant of the year's events, there are also nature festivals that are of ancient origin, such as "Zielone Swiatki" (Green Holidays), which originally were an homage to spring and at present are sanctified by the Church as Pentecost.
Each month to the peasant is the return of an old and familiar friend and is named for its mood, except May (maj), which is derived from the Latin "maius." January (styczen) - from the word "stykac" - to meet, for it is the meeting of the old year with the new; February (luty) - for bleak skies and severe cold; March (marzec) for "marznac," meaning to freeze; April (kwiecien) for "kwiecie" - the blooming of flowers; June (czerwiec) to redden or ripen; July (lipiec) for "lipa" or linden - the tree which Poles loved to plant in long rows along country lanes; August (sierpien) for "sierp" or sickle, used for harvesting; September (wrzesien) for "wrzos" - heather; October (pazdziernik) from the word "pazdzierz" or harl of flax or hemp; November (listopad) for falling leaves; and December (grudzien) for "gruda" - hardened ground.
In this small booklet we have attempted to describe only the most familiar Polish holidays.
Features
  • Softcover
  • Black and White Illustrations
  • 40 pages
  • Size 6" x 9" - 15cm x 23cm


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