Christmas Ornaments in Poland - Polish Christmas Tree (choinka) (I)

This is a "hot" topic especially before Christmas.

How should a Polish Christmas tree, in Polish: choinka, look like?

When I was growing up in Poland in the late 1960 and 1970s quite a number of trees were cut from Polish forests before Christmas season, both, firs and spruces. Firs were the most admired, but too many were cut, so that finally the sale of these trees was banned. Presently, due to environmental concerns and because of improved technology, Polish Christmas trees just like American trees - are usually artificial and can serve for many years and many Christmases.

Christmas tree should be tall enough to reach a ceiling after it is put on a stand and topped with a star or a pointed ornament like the one shown here.

When to decorate a Polish Christmas Tree?

Polish Christmas season has a different timeframe than American Christmas.
Although Poles start Christmas shoppings long before Christmas they do not organize Christmas parties and do not decorate Christmas tree because of the Advent season. So Polish Christmas season does not start a month before Xmas like in the USA. Poles decorate the Christmas tree the day, two before Christmas Eve but it lasts longer. Christmas officially terminates on the 2nd of February in Poland. Read more about it in the article entitled: Christmas Timeframe, Advent and ...Temptations.

Who decorate the Christmas tree?

The entire family decorates the Christmas tree. According to a recent poll, 78 % of Poles decorate the Christmas tree together as a family (Click HERE to see a summary of this poll results in Polish). Children are encouraged to help with the Christmas decorations since adults are involved in the preparations of the Christmas food. Adults also have to work almost until Christmas Eve. The day of Christmas Eve's Day is a shorter working day, it lasts six instead of eight hours.

What are the most popular Christmas ornaments in Poland?

Polish Christmas ornaments have a very old tradition. They are usually mouth-blown, hand-decorated, and are very delicate and brittle. Polish ornaments, called bombki, have many shapes - some are round, other are shaped like icicles. Below is an example of a typical Christmas ornament:

This ball is from the catalog of A.S. Vitrum

Please, read more about Christmas ornaments in Part II (click HERE). Part II also contains a Polish-English dictionary of the most common Christmas terms, as well as links to many Internet stores with Polish Christmas ornaments. Check also beautiful Polish handmade Christmas decorations for sale.

written by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn (article #70), REVISED in 2003.

The book with Polish Paper Cut Desings can be useful for you. Check
Polish Wycinanki Designs by by Frances Drwal

Check our
Christmas Music Store for a wide selection of Polish and Polish-American carols and also some Christmas books

Below is a link to Polish customs' book written by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, Mary Anne Knab (Illustrator). It is entitled
Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore

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