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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Poland Series at PolishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Polish holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1, New Year's Day. In Polish, it’s called Nowy Rok.
Like in many other countries, in Poland the New Year starts on the first day of January. But for Poles, the night preceding this day is the more important one. This is because it’s New Year's eve! Across the country, people host loud parties and banquets, which include lots of good food and drinks shared with a group of friends and family, of course.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What do Polish people call the night before the first day of the New Year in Polish?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Poles always celebrate New Year's Eve quite noisily. There’s a legend explaining why this is so. According to an ancient prophecy, at midnight on the night of the turn of the 10th century the Leviathan, or Lewiatan, imprisoned by Pope Sylvester, was to wake up and destroy the world, spewing sulfur and fire. But, when the deciding moment came, the Leviathan didn't break free, and, filled with joy, the people poured out into the streets, dancing, singing and drinking wine. Thus began the tradition of noisy, happy celebrations.
Just as in the legend, today Poles continue to celebrate the occasion with much grandeur. Throughout the evening on New Year's Eve, also called wigilia Nowego Roku, Poles organized dance parties, gala dinners, house parties, and outdoor events in cities where people can enjoy free music played by the biggest stars in Polish music and cabaret.
The largest events are held on the Constitution Square in Warsaw, or Plac Konstytucji w Warszawie, and in the Cracow Main Market Square, or Rynek Główny w Krakowie, where the number of participants can reach as many as 20,000.
And at exactly midnight, or północ, the whole nation lights up as bright as day. People welcome the New Year with champagne and fireworks, setting them off not only at outdoor events organized by the city, but also in the streets in front of their houses. All across Poland people come outside to admire the fireworks, called fajerwerki, shimmering all around. Phones are constantly ringing, because everyone wants to call all their friends and family and be the first one to wish them a Happy New Year.
Did you know that Poles love offering good wishes to each other at every opportunity? If you go outside to watch fireworks, don’t be surprised if strangers hug you and tell you "Happy New Year!”, which in Polish is Szczęśliwego nowego roku!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What do Polish people call the night before the first day of the New Year in Polish?
They call it Sylwester. Do you remember the story about Leviathan the evil monster?
The pope named Sylvester I was the one who imprisoned the monster, and thus this day was named after him.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate the New Year in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at PolishPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

PolishPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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How do you celebrate the New Year in your country?

PolishPod101.com
Tuesday at 7:36 pm
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Hi coolpolish


Thank you for your feedback. Glad to hear you found it helpful:)


Cheers:sunglasses:

Basia

Team PolishPod101.com

coolpolish
Sunday at 10:58 pm
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this was soo helpful I am so happy about this