Christmas customs and traditions in the East

Dominika Šimončičová

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Slovakia is a diverse country with many customs and traditions that vary from region to region. It is said what a region, such a morality. What do such holidays look like in eastern Slovakia, for example?

In eastern Slovakia, traditional Christmas vines have been preserved so far. We will also talk about the history of customs and traditions in Slovakia.

Boys and bachelors used to visit happy houses around the houses in the villages in the Šariš region. They visited all the farms and it was Christmas on the first and second holidays. The young men dated Bethlehem, blamed the good harvest traditionally associated with the abundance of the farm, and the people would be healthy. Wishes were mostly adapted to simple rhymes. In the past, carolers traditionally wore masks, knocked on the doors of every house, wished the housekeeper and, as a servant, received a reward in the form of cakes, other homemade delicacies, and if they were older, they escaped even more sharply.

Masks from villages have gradually disappeared in most cases, but somewhere they still retain these traditions. Nevertheless, they go to win in civilian clothes, but there are villages where they still use costumes.

Source: Kolednící v maskách (3.1.2020)
Source: Koledníci v maskách (3.1.2020)

In Slovakia, we are preparing for Christmas and holidays up to weeks in advance. Advent carries with us a message of anticipation of the arrival of little Jesus. People go to church, buy presents that they wrap, decorate their homes with Christmas decorations. We will either make an Advent wreath or buy it in florists or shops. It is decorated with four candles and each represents one Sunday of Advent. Every Sunday, one of them lights up. The wreath is always placed either on the table or hung on the door and allows a Christmas atmosphere in the period before Christmas.

On December 24th on Christmas Day, we start celebrating Christmas. On Christmas Day, he is accustomed to fasting, which ends with the rising of the first star. Children have always been told that if they persevere not to drink until dinner, they will see either a gold star or a gold piglet. Yes, just like in kofola advertising. While the children prepare the Christmas tree, the housewives bake, cook and prepare various delicacies for the Christmas Eve table. The biggest holiday is the first Christmas holiday and it is the day of Christ's birth on December 25th.

Gingerbread or other cakes are baked several days in advance. As a rule, bread, garlic, honey, waffles, cabbage, fish, potato salad, toast, these are either buffets or navels, cakes and fruit are not missing on the richly laid Christmas Eve table.


How do they fast? Many tend to follow Advent fasting before Christmas. Before dinner, all family members, from the oldest to the youngest, are washed in water in which coins are tossed so that everyone is healthy and rich. It is also customary to put bread and money under tablecloth, to ensure enough money for the following year. It is also a common practice to cut an apple, which will show the health of the family in the coming year. Each of the apples must also taste.

Source: pôst (3.1.2020)

How are they having dinner in eastern Slovakia?

Some families in the East have dinner only by candlelight and try to sit at the Christmas Eve table for as long as possible to enjoy this once-a-year atmosphere. One of the rules is that no one should leave the table, because that would bring misfortune. In addition, there will be another free space for those who could not attend the dinner, or a casual guest. In most families, they pray and thank before dinner. After the prayer, the dinner begins with waffles and honey.

It is also customary to eat a piece of bread with salt (eg Spišská Nová Ves), a piece of bread with garlic and honey (eg Bardejov), or eat in return with honey and then bread with garlic (eg Rožňava). After such an opening of dinner, which is complemented by different customs in each family, followed by soup. The most commonly prepared and consumed Christmas soup is cabbage, which contains mushrooms and sausage. After the soup, they are used to serve pies filled with potatoes, to which a lentil or bean sauce is served, followed by carp or fillets with potato salad. Another option is pies and fish - in addition to carp, it is often trout.

Of course, the festive Christmas Eve includes a good wine, accompanied by dinner from the first toast.

Source: Vianočná kapustnica (3.1.2020)
Source: Zemiakový šalát a kapor (3.1.2020)
After dinner, carols are sung, gifts are unwrapped. Many people attend the midnight mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus and sing the most beautiful Christmas song "Silent Night, Holy Night". December 25 On December 26, families often live together at home or visit their acquaintances, friends or family.
As you have read, we all have different customs and traditions in our beautiful Slovakia. But whether we are in eastern, central or western Slovakia, each of us experiences the same thing, we sit at a table with our families, we eat traditional cabbage, potato salad with fish. We listen to Christmas music, pray and thank you. After dinner, we will unwrap the presents and finally visit our loved ones.
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Reported by: Dominika Šimončičová
Updated on: 8.6.2020
Source: GoSlovakia

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