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Christmas Eve

We followed the Christmas tradition in Poland of Christmas Eve being the main festivity day - starting when the first star appears in the sky. The day appears as a normal day until about 15:00 hrs when the last of the shops close and the buses and trams revert to a Sunday service. It then becomes the time when families get together to have the traditional Christmas meal of twelve courses!!

An old picture of a tradional Polish Christmas Eve meal
An old picture of a traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal
More on The 12 Dishes of Polish Christmas It still remains a well-establish tradition across most of Poland.

For lonely and homeless people volunteers in Katowice organised a free meal for them this year in the new The International Conference Centre (MCK building) where between 1000 and 2000 people attended from across the city and brought in via special buses.

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Arrival to the big Polish feast at the new International Convention Center
Arrival to the big Polish feast at the new International Convention Center

 

Warm Christmas Weather in Katowice 2015

Unusually warm this Christmas with no snow and not even going below freezing!! Temperatures went up to about 12 degrees. No opportunity to use the toboggan run in Park Kościuszki,Katowice (below). Park Kościuszki has existed since 1925, is one of the most famous and frequented parks in Katowice, Poland. It is situated at the street of the same name. Its foundation dates back to 1888 when a municipal park was founded on the 6 ha area of suburban grove. The present area of the park is 72 ha.

IMG_1366The Red squirrel is more lively than usual. They don't hibernate in winter, but lay down stores of food to see them through periods when fresh food is not available. Where they are found in mixed broadleaf and coniferous woodland they have a source of food all year round, as pine seeds are present over the winter months. However, red squirrels have quite a varied diet which includes seeds, buds, flowers, leaves and fruit. They are known to take insects, fungi and birds' eggs. Red squirrels build nests, called dreys, from sticks and moss placed high in the branches. They produce two litters of three to four kittens a year, usually in March and July. The drey is often the first evidence of the presence of red squirrels in a wood. Other signs are chewed pine cone 'cores' (birds leave ragged remains), split hazel nut shells (do20151223_133918 (640x360)rmice make a hole to extract the kernel), cut tree shoots and scattered droppings.

Red squirrels can live for up to six years. They are chiefly active during the day and most of this time is spent foraging. Bad weather can seriously hinder this activity and, without food the squirrels can only survive for a few days.

Sources: About Red squirrels Park Kościuszki