Christmas in Poland

The people of Poland celebrate Christmas with many old folk and religious customs.


A Christmas pyramid is a triangular or pyramidal structure made up of shelves of unequal lengths joined along their outside edges by supporting posts or poles. Christmas decorations are displayed on each shelf, with the lowest and longest shelf often reserved for a NATIVITY SCENE.


A putz is a kind of NATIVITY SCENE, that is, a representation of the scene of JESUS’birth. Putzes are most often found in towns that harbor a community of Moravians. Moravians represent a very old branch of Protestant Christianity; they are also known as the Unity of Brethren or the Unitas Fratrum.


In the sixteenth century a religious reform movement surged across Europe. The leaders of this movement, known as the Reformation, sought to abolish Church practices they deemed inconsistent with scripture. The Reformation gave birth to Protestant Christianity and to the many different sects and denominations that fall under that heading.

Las Posadas

During the nine days before Christmas, many Hispanic communities host a nightly procession known as Las Posadas. In Spanish las posadas means “the inns” or “the lodgings.” According to this old Mexican custom, groups of children and adults reenact MARY and JOSEPH’s search for shelter in BETHLEHEM.


The poinsettia originally hails from MEXICO. The leaves that crown the end of each poinsettia stalk undergo a seasonal color change in December, turning from green to red. As Christianity spread across Mexico during the colonial era, this color change turned poinsettias into a popular Christmas decoration.


The Plygain is a Welsh carol service originally held early on Christmas morning (see also CHRISTMAS IN WALES). The Welsh word “Plygain” comes from the Latin phrase pulli cantus, which means “cockcrow song.” Originally the service was scheduled for three a.m. to coincide with the crowing of the first rooster on Christmas morning (see also MISA DE GALLO).

Plum Pudding

The traditional Christmas dinner in ENGLAND ends with a dessert called plum pudding. This dish features a blend of dried fruit, spices, and other flavorings, such as lemon and orange peel, sugar, eggs, flour, and butter or suet.

Plough Monday

In past centuries the people of rural ENGLAND observed the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS with rest and recreation. Daily tasks resumed after Epiphany. Women returned to their spinning the day after Epiphany dubbed ST. DISTAFF’S DAY.
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