Christmas as one of the most family-oriented holidays plays a special role in Polish tradition.
For many people, Christmas Eve is the most important day of Christmas. Practically speaking, is not a Christmas day. However, it is on the evening of Christmas Eve that Catholics sit down for the most important dinner of the year. According to Christmas tradition, twelve dishes and an empty place for a stray wanderer should be on the table, and the Pasterka mass is held at midnight in Catholic churches to commemorate the shepherds who were the first to visit the infant Jesus and bow to him. The Pasterka starts the celebration of Christmas, which lasts two days for Catholics.
To feel the magic of Christmas, you can take a walk around Wroclaw on these days. Stars, chains and the top of the spruce are the most important motifs of the Christmas illumination in Wroclaw, which you can watch, among others, at ul. Oławska, Kiełbaśnicza, Świdnicka and Ruska. Christmas trees stand on the Market Square, the Nowy Targ square, the Psie Pole market square, Nowe Żerniki and Plac Grunwaldzki. The new version of the illumination includes also Christmas decorations on Tumski Bridge and fountains at ul. Oławska.
Believers in Eastern religions
According to the Julian calendar, Greek Catholics and Orthodox Christians will sit down for Christmas dinner two weeks later, on 6th January. This difference in the time of celebration results from the fact that the Eastern Church uses the Julian calendar, whereas Catholics use the Gregorian calendar.
Christmas and New Year’s Day: what will be open?
25th and 26th December, 1st January and 6th January are public holidays. See what will be open in the Christmas–New Year period. Some Wroclaw attractions will be available to visitors also during the holiday period.
They are listed below:
- The Zoo and Africarium are open from 9:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. – ticket offices and pavilions, sightseeing till 5:00 p.m.
- Penitent Bridge. The viewpoint is open all year round. In the winter season, it is open from 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m.
- Kolejkowo is open from 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. every day. Here you can watch the Christmas exhibition City of Gingerbread.
- The Museum of Illusions is open all year round, including holidays.
- The Illumination Park in the Topacz Castle is open from 4:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. (last entrance 8:00 p.m.).
- The Hydropolis is open on 26th December from 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m.
- The Christmas Market is open on 26th December 2021 from 1:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m.; on 31st December 2021 (New Year’s Eve) – industrial market booths open till 5:00 p.m., selected stands till 3:00 a.m. (1st January 2022).
- Illuminations in the Botanical Garden: 26th–29th December and 2nd–9th January from 4:30 p.m. till 8:00 p.m.
- Ice rink at the Wroclaw Stadium: 24th December – open from 9:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m., 25th and 26th December – open from 11:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m.
- Spiska and Wejherowska ice rinks: 24th and 25th December – closed, 26th December – open from 8:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m., 31st December – open from 8:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m., 1st January – open from 2:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m.
New Year’s Eve 2021/2022
The New Year’s Eve party on the Wroclaw Market Square will not be held this year. We encourage Wroclaw inhabitants to spend New Year’s Eve in a smaller company on house parties and intimate events, because this year we will not meet at the traditional New Year's Eve party held by the city on the Wroclaw Market Square.