Dinner on Christmas Eve is the most important meal of the year in Poland, says Katarzyna Bosacka, wife of Poland’s ambassador to Canada.
“Everyone dresses up and there are 12 dishes to bring luck for the coming 12 months of the year, or for the 12 apostles,” explains Bosacka, who lives in the Sandy Hill embassy with her husband and four children.
“The meal is rich in Polish tradition. There’s no meat or hard liquor. Dishes go back to the 17th and 18th century, to when there was no refrigeration, so you have many dried foods, lots of poppyseeds, and naturally preserved foods, like herring in oil or sauerkraut. Many families wait to eat until the children spot the first star in the night sky.
“Of course, now with so many satellites, sometimes that’s hard to tell.”