Oplatki Sunday: December 6, 2015

One of the loveliest old traditions of the Polish people that still continues today in many Winona homes, is that of the Oplatki. Oplatek was, and is still, a thin unleavened wafer similar to altar bread. It is known as the bread of love and is often sent from Poland to Winona relatives yet to this day. There is a little ritual involved with this wafer involving the Parents and Children at the Christmas Eve supper (Wigilia) where it has its primary function at the start of the meal.

The Polish Museum celebrates the ritual in an amended fashion: Here it’s held on the first Sunday of December from 12 noon- to 3pm. The purpose for the date and time here is merely to provide the wafer to the families who still keep the ritual and need to obtain the wafer before the gwasztka (the first star of Christmas eve) when the Wigilia officially begins in the Polish homes … A tremendous tradition to promote harmony and security in a family.

So, come to the Museum on December 6th and practice a few Kolendy (Polish Carols) and pick up your packaged wafer along with getting directions from the Museum staff on how to perform it. We are not allowed to sell it to you … that’s part of the tradition… and you must remember that sharing is its peculiar Charism. The Museum store will also be open on that day with its exclusive dealership of Kashubian pottery along with a plethora of unusual gifts. And to help you survive the chill of December air, we’ll have some genuine Polish traditional food to bolster your emerging efforts to be the catalyst of a more kind, gentle, and secure family.

About Józef Jan Hughes

Native of Oak Creek, WI now living (26 years and counting), in Springfield, MO. Son of ex-Winonans Raymond and Laura (Bambenek) Hughes; half Kashubian Polish on Mom's side. In honor of my grandfather Jan Karol "John C." Bambenek (1891-1966) I'm trying out the Polish spelling for a while.

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