Sunday, 19 May 2024

Traditional Seasonal Celebration

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas_Jan_2014Wishing you Joy, Peace and Happiness for Christmas and the New Year we wish to invite you for our traditional Seasonal Celebration on Sunday, 5th January 2014, starting at 4 pm – Christmas Carols, Polish ‘Opłatek’ and the best of Polish and Irish seasonal food.

Address: Polish House (20 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland).

The cost of participation:
· Symbolic €1 for IPS members
· € 5 for non-members
• Children free of charge

All are invited to join us with children and friends.

The start of 2014 marks the beginning of our Society’s 35th Anniversary. Some of our longstanding members may remember the first gathering with Polish Opłatek and setting up of the first steering committee of the Irish Polish Society. It took place on Sunday, 7th January 1979, in Miltown Institute where the Society’s founder, Fr Klaus Cieszynski SJ, was studying. Jan Kaminski was the Society’s first chairman and Helena Johnston the secretary (both are still active members of our Society!).
The tradition of celebrating the Polish Irish Christmas festivities together has been very important to our Society for 35 years, and, hopefully, will continue to be so in future years.

Some information re Polish Christmas celebrations.

We were asked about the tradition of Christmas carp in Poland. In Poland it is Christmas Eve which is mainly celebrated – not Christmas Day. It is a day first of fasting, then of feasting! The early part of the day is very busy with preparation for the evening feast, called WIGILIA. There are quite big preparations because the meal should consist of twelve courses – because of the twelve apostles according to tradition. Although it is a fast day and there are strictly non-meat dishes, they are not simple. The menu may vary in different parts of the country, and family to family, however fish is the centre piece. Traditionally it is fresh water fish like pike, perch, trout, and most importantly – carp. Carp is a ‘must’ for the Christmas Eve table. Carp tastes wonderful but involves a lot of preparations as it should spend some time in running fresh water in order to clean of mud and sand. In Poland carp is sold alive and when I was a child it used to be kept in the bath for a few days (we children enjoyed watching it swimming around!). In Poland the history of farming carp goes back to 13th century (the best is so-called ‘karp królewski’ – Royal Carp). It may be served fried, poached, baked but the best – in my opinion – is ‘Polish style’ (sometimes called Jewish) in ‘grey’ (szary) sauce. The sauce is made with red wine, and doesn’t look or taste ‘greyish’ at all! It is a delicious sour-sweet dish. Carp is the only fish that goes well with red wine because of its slight ‘muddy’ flavour.
You should keep in your wallet few scales from your Wigilia carp – this (according to old Polish superstition) would attract money during coming year!

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