Duncan Royale

Duncan Royale Santa III



Duncan Royale Star Man

Item Sku: 12Star
In Poland, Christmas is often described as the Festival of the Star, commemorating one of the most significant symbols of Christmas, the Star of Bethlehem. Celebrations begin on Christmas Eve, called the Wigilia, which is a time of fasting and of joyful anticipation in remembrance of the vigil that the shepherds kept on that first Christmas long ago. Children eagerly look for the first star to appear in the evening sky. At its appearance a lighted candle is placed in the window and the family gathers to share the feast. An extra chair is set at the table for the Christ Child and a bed of straw is placed under the white table cloth as a reminder of the straw-filled manger in Bethlehem.

Before the meal is served, the head of the household, in a solemn ritual, distributes a large unleavened wafer to each member of the family. Marked with a scene of the birth of Christ, the wafer is a symbol of peace, friendship and love. The meal itself is meatless and often consists of twelve dishes to symbolize the Twelve Apostles.

After the feast the children await the visit of the Star Man, also known as Swiety Nikotaj, with much excitement. He is a more religious version of Santa Claus, usually being the village priest or a family friend in disguise. He is accompanied by Star Boys, villagers carrying an illuminated star and singing carols as they go from house to house.

When the Star Man arrives he gathers the children around him and questions them on their religious knowledge and tests them on their prayers. Afterwards small gifts are distributed by the Star Man which have been sent from the Mother Star, the good Star of Heaven. The Mother Star knows the desires of the children because in the weeks leading up to Christmas they had left letters for her on their windowsills. Sometimes the Mother Star herself accompanies the Star Man, dressed in a white dress and a flowing veil which covers her head and face. 

After the visit of the Star Man, the children go to bed while the adults go out into the star-filled night to attend Midnight Mass at the local church. This mass is called the Mass of the Shepherds. And on this most holy of nights, according to legend, it is said that those whose lives have been pure and blameless may see in the winter sky a vision of Jacobís ladder reaching to Heaven.
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