Thursday, December 31, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Poles are very Catholic. Poles love Christmas. Poles have many traditions. My family, identifying partly with our Polish heritage, partake in a few of these traditions, mostly those relating to Christmas Eve. My family always breaks the Opłatek, a communion like wafer symbolizing the importance of family, God and friends. We also eat keep our Christmas Eve meal meatless, indulging in pierogie... many pierogie because as previous learned, you can never just have one. This delicious carbohydrate masterpiece is accompanied with fish, although not the traditional carp. (I think we stick to flounder or some other white fish.)
Sunday, December 6, 2009
After serious gift shopping for friends and family, (or yourself) those frozen hands, busy sifting through great deals, need to be warmed. So when those newly bought wool gloves just aren't cutting it, there’s always Grzaniec Galicyjski (try to pronounce that one, I dare you.) This delicious, sweet, hot mulled wine is the perfect addition to your sudden indulgence in Christmas spirit. It warms both hands and soul.
The market is full of different characters from all walks of life. While this might be where one hears English spoken more than any other place in Poland, native Poles can also be found, slowly preparing for the biggest holiday in the country. I’ve weaved in and out of the crowds almost every day since it opened in the beginning of December.
My favorite time to go is at night, when the entire market is lit with tinkling lights. Even the small streets leading the center, glow with icicle blue lights and wreaths. Couples holding hands, children running around with their families, and friends laughing over a cup of Grzaniec Galicyjski contribute to the fantasy of Kraków. The horse-drawn carriages only heighten the romantic atmosphere with its occupants closely huddled under blankets for warmth.
A friend and I found ourselves in grumpy moods one evening, having no real desire to do anything but to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. On our way through the city after eating dinner, we were drawn to the market because of the festive music playing and after an hour, we left the market with smiles on our faces and presents in our hands. Christmas is a magical time of year, and while it may make me an unrealistic romantic, I adore it. I can’t wait to be with my family, enjoying champagne and brownies for breakfast.