On Christmas Eve in Poland most households observe a strict 24-hour fast known as Wigilia. This Polish tradition ends with a huge meatfree Christmas feast. The meal consists of twelve courses or dishes, one for each Apostle. The table is covered with the best white tablecloth and always set with one extra seat in case a stranger or the Holy Spirit should arrive to share the meal. Some Polish families spread bits of hay underneath the table cloth as a reminder that Christ was born in a manger.