Christmas in Poland: Christmas Eve Fast
Traditionally, Poles, following Roman Catholic teachings, have fasted on December 24. The first meal of the day was a meatless supper. The Poles made up for this, however, by permitting the Christmas Eve meal to be composed of up to twelve different dishes. According to folk tradition, Poles did not sit down to eat on Christmas Eve until the first star appeared in the sky. Around sunset children dashed outdoors to scan the sky for the first star, eager to begin the evening’s festivities. When sighted, the star was referred to as the Star of Bethlehem.