What did you say when you broke your opłatek on Christmas Eve?
Breaking the opłatek, or “Christmas wafer,” might not be something many Americans are familiar with, but it’s a tradition that has been practiced in Poland for over a thousand years. One family member breaks the wafer, says a prayer for a loved one, and passes a piece to another family member, who continues the process around the table.
One of our preschool classes was fortunate enough to learn about this and other Polish traditions when one of the students’ moms came to class on the day before winter break. The children broke crackers and shared wishes or compliments with one another. They also looked at traditional Polish Christmas decorations and attire, explored a book about Poland, and rang handbells. And of course no preschool party would be complete without dancing!
We’re so grateful to have family and friends share their own traditions with us. What a treat for the children to learn about the world by learning about one another.