What's in the Twinkle of a First Star on Christmas Eve, Each December 24th
A family patiently searches for the first star in the twilight of the 'Wigilia' night to begin their celebration of sharing thin embossed white bread, oplatek. The ceremony involves fasting, setting an extra place at their dinner table, and exchanging many good wishes while breaking the oplateks with each other. 'The 'First Star' By Bernadetta Swigut is an e-book just released (Dec.19,2011) on Amazon Kindle, and Kindle Cloud where anybody with a computer can read about it.
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December 21, 2011 (FPRC) -- 'First Star' is named after the custom of waiting until the first star appears in the night sky before beginning the celebration of Christmas Eve, or 'Wigilia.' Narrated from a child's point of view, the story explains the meaning behind the traditions. Grandmother, or 'Babcia', explains that an extra place is set at the dinner table in case an unexpected hungry visitor should come. Then there is the charming ceremony of family members sharing their optalek (a special thin white bread) with each other while exchanging good wishes. Next is the participation in the in consuming 12 mostly fish and grain traditionally meatless dishes The illustrations are worth examining carefully.
Both Polish and American heroes(Copernicus, Pulaski, Kosciusko, Washington,Chopin, John Paul II) and heroines(Madam Sklodowska Curie, George Sand, Lady of Lichen, Anna Pavlova), and Leonardo's Cecilia Gallerani - Lady with an Ermine can be found decorating the pages. Author and illustrator Bernadetta Swigut dedicates the book 'to all Polish, Slovak, and Lithuanian children,' but it is a book for everyone who appreciates the value of tradition and family.
The last page of 'First Star' is decorated with a picture of an antique winnowing machine made by the authors Grandfather Jan Poreba in 1918 in Mystkow, Poland. The Wheat needed to be separated from chaff , ground and purified to make it suitable for white oplateks. Copies of 'First Star' e-book may be ordered at Amazon Kindle and Kindle Cloud. The kindle version is now free to all Amazon Prime members.
Send an email to Bernadetta Swigut Steinschneider of First Star Vig.
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