Polish Christmas

Text and Images of a Polonian House Blessing
Polish Epiphany Song
: Medrcy Swiata
Polish Folk Art Painting of the Three Kings


History of the Polish Catholic Epiphany Tradition


Blessed Chalk, Incense and Holy Water for Epiphany  (c) 2002 Ann Gunkel

This is done to bless the home and provide protection for those within against illness and misfortune. Often the parish priest--or in rural villages, the parish organist--comes to bless the home at this special time. The Feast of the Three Kings ends the swiete wieczory -- the twelve holy nights that began on Christmas Day--and signals the beginning of zapusty, or carnival time.



In Poland, Christmas Day begins the twelve-day Gody (Days of harmony and good will.) The evenings of this twelve-day period are known as swiete wieczory, or holy evenings.  The Twelfth Night was amongst the most important days of the Winter Solstice.  The evening of the Feast of the Three Kings was called szczodry wieczor, which means a bountiful or plentiful evening.  On the Feast, the family takes blessed chalk, foil, and incense, marking the home with the initials of the Three Wise Men along with the year. 

Epiphany Door in  Polonia (c) Ann Gunkel 2002

External Links:

Images of the Magi in Art History
Blessed Chalk, Foil, and Incense
Epiphany Topics   More Epiphany Links
Overview of the Feast

Epiphany Prayer 

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