According to the Clubs regulation, we hereby call for the AGM meeting 12. December 2018, 1900 Sofitel Grand, Sopot.
- Opening of the AGM meeting by the President
- Election of Chairman of the AGM
- Election of 2 members for the voting committee
- Report by the President
- Election of President 2019/2020 (board member)
- Election of Vice-president 2019/2020 (board member)
(President elect 2020/2021)
- Election of Treasure 2019/2020 (board member)
- Election of Club Secretary 2019/2020 (board member)
- Election of Sergeant of Arms 2019/2020 (board member)
- Election of 2 members Revision Committee
- Election of Chairman Partner Clubs Committee
- Other Business
- Closing of the AGM
- Should you not be able to participate, you can give proxy, to another member.
For Poles, Christmas Eve is a time of family gathering and reconciliation. It’s also a night of magic: Animals are said to talk in a human voice and people have the power to tell the future. The belief was born with our ancestors who claimed that Dec. 24 was a day to mark the beginning of a new era. It was bolstered by sayings such as, “As goes Christmas Eve, goes the year.” Hoping for a good 12 months, everyone was polite and generous to one another and forgave past grievances.
Today, few treat the old traditions seriously, but some survive as family fun. “Maidens” interested in their marital future and older people, who try to predict next year’s weather based on the sky’s aura between Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night (Jan. 6), sometimes cling to past superstitions.
Polish rural residents are among the few who still keep up the old Christmas Eve customs. In eastern Poland it is still believed that girls who grind poppy seed on Christmas Eve can hope for a quick marriage. After dinner, they leave the house, and the direction of the first dog bark points to where their future husband will come from. Another fortune-telling trick is eavesdropping on the neighbors. If in a casual conversation, the girl hears the word “Go” it means she will get married in the coming year. A loud “Sit” announces long-lasting maidenhood.
When going to Christmas Eve midnight mass, girls would blindfold each other and touch fence pickets. A straight and smooth picket would portend a resourceful husband, while a crooked and rough one was an indication of a clumsy and awkward spouse. If a maiden wanted to learn about her future fiance’s profession, she would go to a river, dip her hand in the water and pull out the first thing she touched. Wood meant a carpenter, iron-a blacksmith, leather-a shoemaker, etc. Before going to bed, she’d wash her face with water without drying it. She would hang the towel on the footboard of her bed. The boy who passed her the towel in her dream was to become her husband.
Weather-forecasting superstitions were also popular. It was believed that if Christmas sees no snow, Easter certainly will-or more artfully, “If the Christmas tree sinks in water, the egg rolls on ice.” Other sayings include, “A sunny Christmas Eve brings fair weather all year round”; “Stars that shine bright on Christmas Eve will make hens lay plenty of eggs”; “A shine on the birth of our Savior will be seen all throughout January.”
From the small hours on Dec. 24, women were found cleaning and sweeping the entire house. An ancient belief had it that forces of evil would dwell in all things left dirty on that day. If the first person to enter a house on Christmas Eve was a woman, it was a bad omen, meaning that only heifers would be born in the farm in the coming year. It was a good sign when a man was the first to cross the threshold of the house.
At the Christmas Eve supper, each dish had to be sampled, and a traditional meal would consist of 12 dishes. The more you ate, the more pleasure would await you in the future. The more daring diners would pull out blades of straw from underneath the table cloth. A green one foretold marriage; a withered one-waiting; a yellow one-spinsterhood; a very short one-an early grave.
In pre-electricity times, after the last supper dish (which was kutia, a mix of soaked wheat, raisins, nuts, honey and spices) candles were blown out and the direction of the smoke was observed. If it moved toward the window-the harvest would be good, toward the door-a family member would die, toward the stove-a marriage.
Until recently, harvest fortune-telling was very popular in the countryside. After supper, the host would go out to the garden, carrying dried fruit. He would throw it on the trees, shouting “Apples, pears, plums, cherries, and all the leaves in the neighbor’s yard.” He would take a handful of straw and twist it into a rope. Grabbing an ax with other hand, he would approach a tree and threaten it by saying, “I’ll cut you down!” His wife would cry, “Don’t cut it, it will bear fruit!” Then she would tie the straw rope around the tree. This bizarre little pantomime apparently brought a good harvest.
Today, few people are familiar with Christmas Eve fortune telling, especially urban dwellers. Yet some old traditions can still be found among village people who tend to lead a more old-fashioned lifestyle, closely connected to nature and its cycles of death and rebirth.
History of Christmas Day
Whilst the holiday has a strong grounding in the story of the birth of Jesus, many of the traditions we associate with Christmas have evolved from pre-christian beliefs and certainly the traditions have evolved beyond purely a Christian holiday to have a wider secular significance.
The celebration of Christmas in late December is certainly as a result of pre-existing celebrations happening at that time, marking the Winter Solstice.
Most notable of these is Yule (meaning ‘Feast’), a winter pagan festival that was originally celebrated by Germanic people. The exact date of Yule depends on the lunar cycle but it falls from late December to early January. In some Northern Europe countries, the local word for Christmas has a closer linguistic tie to ‘Yule’ than ‘Christmas’, and it is still a term that may be used for Christmas in some English-speaking countries. Several Yule traditions are familiar to the modern celebration of Christmas, such as Yule Log, the custom of burning a large wooden log on the fire at Christmas; or indeed carol singing, which is surprisingly a very ancient tradition.
Saint Stephen’s Day, 26 December is the Feast of St. Stephen in Western Christianity.
In Spain, this is a regional holiday celebrated in Catalonia only.
In France this is a regional holiday celebrated in Alsace and Moselle only.
In commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas day is a holiday, but known as Boxing Day. In some countries the day after Christmas Day may also be known as the ‘Second Day of Christmas’ or the ‘Day after Christmas’.
History of St. Stephen’s Day
In non Commonwealth countries, the day is more commonly referred to as St Stephen’s Day or the feast of Stephen as mentioned in the carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’.
There are two Saints called Stephen. St. Stephen’s Day on 26 December commemorates St. Stephen who was the first Christian Martyr.
Stephen was a Greek Jew who had converted to Christianity. He was appointed as one of seven deacons to help with organizing the early Christian church.
Due to his preaching about Christianity, he was accused of blasphemy and stood trial at a Jewish court in about 34 CE.
During the trial he made a long speech, saying that Christianity supported the teachings of Moses. This so enraged the crowd at the trial, that he was dragged away and stoned to death by an mob. It is said that the mob was encouraged on by Saul of Tarsus, who later became Saint Paul.
The other St. Stephen was St. Stephen of Hungary, who was the first king of Hungary and is noted for converting the Magyar people to Christianity.
New Year’s Day is 1st January, the first day of the year, in the Gregorian calendar, and falls exactly one week after the Christmas Day of the previous year.
New Year’s Day is a public holiday in all countries that observe the Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel. This makes it the most widely observed public holiday in the year.
Some countries may also observe an additional day’s holiday for New Year.
Countries who still use the Julian Calendar observe New Year’s Day on January 14th.
It is traditionally celebrated with firework displays across the globe at 00:00 in the local time zones.
History of New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day was originally observed on 15th March in the old Roman Calendar.
It was fixed at 1st January in 153 BCE, by two Roman consuls. The month was named Janus after the name of the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one facing forward and one looking back, a fitting name for the month at the start of the year.
During the Middle Ages, a number of different Christian feast dates were used to mark the New Year, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December in the Roman fashion.
Epiphany is one of three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter.
It is always celebrated on 6 January and commemorates the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi, or three wise men. In some countries, it may be known as ‘Three Kings Day’.
Interestingly, the bible doesn’t mention how many wise men there were – just that three gifts were given and that they came from the east.
The common consensus is that there were between two and twenty wise men. They were likely to have been Zoroastrian Priests. It wasn’t until about 500AD that three was accepted to be the standard number of wise men – the reasoning simply due to the number of gifts.
To further complicate matters, the wise men may not even have been men or wise. In 2004, a report by the general synod of the church of England concluded that ‘magi’ gives no indication as to number, or gender, or even to the level of wisdom.
Epiphany is derived from the Greek word ‘epiphaneia’ and means manifestation. In religious use, the term means the appearance of an invisible divine being in a visible form.
The celebration of the Epiphany began in the Eastern Church and included a celebration of Christ’s birth. However, by the 4th century AD, the various calendar reforms had moved the birth of Christ to 25 December and the church in Rome began celebrating 6 January as Epiphany. Armenian Christians still celebrate the birth of Christ on 6 January