Home ยป Polish Christmas Wafer: A Flavorless Heritage That’s Oh Therefore Sugary

Polish Christmas Wafer: A Flavorless Heritage That’s Oh Therefore Sugary

Polish Christmas Wafer: A Flavorless Heritage That’s Oh Therefore Sugary

The oplatek, embossed with a Christmas world, is provided among friends before Christmas time Eve supper. iStockphoto hide caption

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The oplatek, embossed with a Christmas time scene, is actually discussed among family members before Christmas Eve dinner.

Little claims “I adore you,” no less than within my Polish-American group, like the posting of a thin, level, tasteless wafer called an oplatek at Christmas time.


We’re not alone. Before sitting down to Christmas Eve dinner, numerous family with origins in Poland along with other Eastern European countries usually takes component within this custom, with origins dating back more than 100 years.

“for all of us, Polish Us citizens, the oplatek, that wafer, is actually Christmas Eve,” claims Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, author of the ebook gloss traditions, customs and Folklore. “It describes some people’s heritage.”

Xmas Eve marks the end of Advent. Generally, that required the last day of fasting, therefore in generally Catholic Poland, the food had been typically meatless. The diet plan could have included things like pea soup, boiled carrots, deep-fried seafood and stewed berries, Knab records inside the shine nation kitchen area Cookbook.

Before the dinner, though, arrived a tiny, informal service one that’s however completed in many domiciles, including when you look at the U.S.

At the start of lunch, after grace, a man mind of the family requires the wafer and conveys their expectations for his spouse during the new year. He could want her well being, or inquire about forgiveness for most mistake.

“My father regularly state, ‘OK, I am not the number one, but we’ll attempt more challenging,’ ” Knab says. “My personal mama would constantly say, ‘You run so very hard and I also appreciate you for that.’ “

The spouse breaks down an article of the oplatek and takes they. She after that reciprocates the favorable desires and part the wafer together husband. And the ceremonial posting of wafer and good wishes continues with older relation, friends and children, beginning with the earliest.

“The sharing of this unleavened breads with someone is actually revealing all that excellent with lifetime,” claims Knab. “its a period to tell each other, ‘I love you, I care about your.’ Therefore do it in an open location, in which everybody else is able to see you.”

The wafer is usually a rectangle towards measurements of a give and embossed with a xmas scene, such as the Nativity. Truly manufactured from flour and water pressed between two engraved items of steel and is just like the breads wafer used in Holy Communion. To be frank, it could be fairly dried out and tasteless (my family battled in order to complete the wafer just last year), nevertheless belief is so sweet that it is worth the effort.

The wafers in many cases are ended up selling through places of worship, but they can also be located online. White wafers include when it comes down to personal family members; Fido and Miss Kitty obtain the yellow, silver and eco-friendly ones. (had gotten a horse? They have a piece, as well.)

Ethnographers think that the practice possess become the start off with the sharing of a ritual flatbread also known as podplomyk, Knab claims. Bits of the thin bread, usually baked before different loaves of cash were placed in the oven, had been shared with members of the household, along with next-door neighbors, as a gesture of goodwill.

“breads is tough to come by” at the center centuries, Knab claims. “Sharing of the loaves of bread was a caring sort of change.”

That breads sooner morphed inside level wafer, says Knab, plus the posting continued. During The Second World War, with groups scattered all around the globe, individuals would deliver bits of oplatek to tell all of them of every various other.

Plus some consistently include the wafers within mailings. “I nevertheless see characters from Poland with parts,” she claims.

The oplatek tradition distribute among Lithuanians, Czechs and Slovaks. As well as people years taken off their own Eastern European roots express the wafers.

“It has only continuous down through generations,” Knab claims, “because it is such a beautiful customs.”

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