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What does hay under the tablecloth mean? Learn the meaning of Christmas Eve tradition!

Co oznacza sianko pod obrusem? Poznaj znaczenie Wigilijnej tradycji!

Tomasz Woźniak |

Christmas Eve is one of the most important holidays in Polish culture. It is the time when the family gathers around the Christmas table to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In addition to characteristic dishes such as carp, borscht or pierogi, there is another element that inseparably accompanies Polish Christmas Eve - hay under the tablecloth . Today we will focus on where this tradition comes from, what is its origin and what does it symbolize?

The ancient roots of the tradition of making hay under the tablecloth

The tradition of putting hay under the tablecloth dates back to ancient times and has its roots in the beliefs of pagan Slavs. According to these beliefs, hay symbolized fertility, abundance and prosperity. It was believed that putting hay under the tablecloth would bring happiness and prosperity to the household for the next year. Christmas Eve

Putting hay under the tablecloth also has a Christian meaning. It symbolizes the poverty and modesty into which Jesus Christ was born. This gesture reminds us that it is worth appreciating simplicity and humility, which are important values ​​in the Christian life.

The unique meaning of the Christmas Eve tablecloth

In addition to the hay , the tablecloth itself also has its importance in the Christmas Eve tradition. The tablecloth that we put on the festive table should be white. This color refers to the purity and innocence of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate during this special holiday time. The white tablecloth is also a symbol of the purity of hearts that we should maintain during Christmas.

Superstitions related to hay

In some regions of Poland, there are superstitions and special traditions related to hay under the tablecloth . One of them is the belief that the person who pulls the longest blade of hay from under the tablecloth will have success and happiness in the coming year. However, the person who extracts the shortest and less impressive blade can expect difficulties and problems in the near future.

It was also believed that the longer and better the hay was, the greater the harvest of grain and flax could be expected in the coming year. This tradition is related to the long history of agriculture in Poland and the belief in the prosperity that comes from fertile fields.

Practical use of hay

Although putting hay under the tablecloth has mainly symbolic meaning, in the past it also had practical applications. Back in the early 20th century, hay was commonly used to decorate interiors during Christmas. Entire tables were covered with hay and a tablecloth was placed on them. Straw also covered the floor, and sheaves of hay were placed in the corners of the rooms, which was supposed to bring health, prosperity and prosperity in the coming year.

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