Oplatek / Christmas Wafer

christmas wafer

Oplatek (Opłatek) is the Polish word for a Christmas Wafer. Opłatek are shared with the family on Christmas Eve (Wigilia) throughout Poland and in Polish communities throughout the world. Family and friends prior to beginning the Christmas Eve meal share them as a symbol of friendship, love, reconciliation and forgiveness. Those present move around the room breaking off a piece of the opletek, eating it, and wishing each other good fortune, health, and happiness to all present. The wafers themselves, which are flavourless and made from simple unsalted plain wheat flour and water, can be purchased at any Catholic church in Poland or even bought online by those without easy access to a Polish church. Some Oplatek are completely plain and undecorated. Other Opłatek. like in the photograph above, feature religious scenes such as the nativity. The tradition of sharing a wafer with family and friends on Christmas Eve may have its roots in the sharing of thin bread during Holy Communion in the Catholic Church.

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