Central Slovakia is really diverse in its customs. In some families, dinner is held only by candlelight, while in Kysucie, the light is left in all rooms in the house. Even in this region, people overeat an apple on Christmas Eve, which is supposed to bring them happiness.
An interesting habit is blowing into a candle , which can tell you what. E.g. when the smoke from it rises straight up the mountain, the person will be healthy all year round. However, if the smoke rises crookedly or sideways, he may fear health problems.
A special custom in central Slovakia is that the father of the family makes a cross of honey on all members' heads before dinner. Dinner is completely dark, only by candlelight. Before dinner, the whole family stands up and prays together. But it is also individual, e.g. Kysuce families, on the other hand, leave the light in all rooms.
In many families, for example. still adheres to the habit of one extra plate for the casual guest or wanderer, or money under the tablecloth to ensure wealth and garlic on the table as a symbol of health for all family members. The first and important part of Christmas Eve rituals is the intercession and prayer of the oldest relative for the whole family. This is followed by waffles with honey and garlic.
The traditional customs they practice on Christmas Day are different. They put money under the tablecloth and the money is associated with such a custom that water is filled into the sink and coins are placed on the bottom. It is such a sign that the family will not be financially bad next year.
The customs are probably the most varied in the whole country. The superstition and imagination of people know no bounds, and so, for example, in Orava, people used to have to sit barefoot again at dinner, with one leg on their ax. People believed that it would protect them from disease.
Orava is also known for its specific traditions and customs, e.g. they prepare bowls with fruits, where there are vegetables, sausage, ham, cheese and money is added. This custom is meant to symbolize that our family will continue to prosper next year, and at the same time it is also a thank you for the past year.
The traditional Christmas soup in central Slovakia is definitely kale - again in many ways, e.g. with mushrooms (Liptov), fish cabbage (Žilina) or mushroom or plum soup (Rimavská Sobota). In Orava there is a popular cabbage, which is with mushrooms and smoked fish, with cream and fried onion is added on top. It is also usually served with mashed potatoes.
Next comes fried fish (most often carp or trout) and potato mayonnaise salad.
Roast goose or duck is served on the Christmas table around Martin, even bryndza and bread in some areas. Of course, there must be sweet poppy toasts, served as a dessert.
In Orava, many of the original Christmas customs have been preserved to this day, especially in multi-generational families - the legs of the table are chained so that the family is always together, the grain on the Christmas table symbolizes abundance. Farm animals are given bread and honey to keep them healthy.
In Kysucie, the customs are completely different. There is nothing meat on this day. The sourdoughs can forget about the excellent cabbage and on Christmas Eve they have to settle for pea soup with plums instead . This is followed by fish and mayonnaise salad.
In the area of southern Slovakia, in the vicinity of Levíce, a thick fish soup - halászlé - is served after the wafer . The main dish in this area consists of untraditionally baked trout with roasted potatoes.