Right, Christmas in nearly here. And I know people will want to impress their Polish friends by wishing them Merry Christmas in Polish.
Time then for a quick overview of the most useful Polish phrases for the festive period.
Let’s start with the name itself, Christmas in Polish is
Although you can also refer to it as
which literally means ‘holidays’. The singular form ‘święto’ can refer to a bank holiday in general, while the plural will be used to denote either Christmas or Easter or any cluster of bank holidays.
The individual Christmas days don’t really have individual names like they do in Britain, apart from:
Christmas Eve, the evening when most Poles will have their Christmas Eve dinners, exchange gifts and go to church for the midnight mass.
To wish someone a Merry Christmas, you say simply
Merry Christmas. And a week after Wigilia, people get ready for
New Year’s Eve. Poles celebrate name’s days and the male name Sylwester (celebrated on 31st December) has become the name of the last day in a year. The New Year’s Day is
Literally, ‘new year’. And how do you wish someone a Happy new Year? Well, it’s a mouthful:
Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku
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Image of Gdańsk © magro kr via Flickr, used under CC licence