Happy Sylwester/New Year’s Eve (with makowiec, bigos & vodka)

Today is Sylwester – New Year’s Eve – and time to say bye to 2011 in style 🙂

Sylwester is a big deal in Poland. It’s quite an event and you often go to an organised ball/gala/party (bal sylwestrowy) and of course choose your best frock (kreacja :)) or throw a house party.

However you celebrate in Poland, it’s likely to include 3 things: Vodka (it’s so good and so cheap, and so many varieties!!!) , bigos (hunter’s stew is a must on Sylwester, even if to just keep you going through the night of partying – all that sauerkraut and meat stew that’s been eaten by Poles for centuries!) and of course some lovely makowiec (poppy seed cake) which is needed to guarantee (kinda) prosperity long into the new year!

Most Polish cities also organise concerts and parties in the main squares where you can pop along to see some pop/rock stars, boogie on down (wrap up warm warm!) and see in the New Year with the rest of the city.

A lot of people also head south for New Years Eve to celebrate in the beautiful resort of Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.

  • Wroclaw is preparing to host some famous faces (Kayah) together with TVP2 – Polish TV channel 2.
  • Warsaw is having by far the most stars (together with Polsat – Polish ITV style channel) with Maryla Rodowicz (remember her from my childhood!), De Mono group and Golec uOrkiestra (a highlanders folk-come-pop band) among others.
  • Lublin has been advertising their party with the Bajm group all over town and on the buses (party to be held at the Plac Litewski).
  • Sopot will be staging some fireworks over the sea resort at midnight (will be probably beautiful over the sea!)
  • while Krakow, which normally hosts big stars in the old town square (beautiful at night!), will be tightening the belt during the economic crisis by supposedly not inviting any stars this year! Krakowians are however invited to come along to the old town square (the stage is normally right by Sukiennnice) and wish each other best New Year’s wishes at midnight.

So here’s what we’re going to be celebrating with tonight – some lovely makowiec (better run to the shops now) and a couple of mini bottles of vodka – my favourite is the Old Krupnik (honey vodka) below.

Happy Sylwester !

Poppy seed cake (makowiec)
Poppy seed cake (makowiec)
Old Krupnik & Wyborowa Vodka
Old Krupnik & Wyborowa Vodka

Read more about Poland and Polish traditions on inlovewithpoland.com.

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