Our traditional Christmas

Hey. Christmas are always associated with traditions and I guess you guys might not be familiar with Slovakian christmas traditions.

It’s so much different that US, UK or other Christmases I saw on Tv. The traditions differ in different parts of Slovakia and families as well and I’m gonna introduce to you to my families eastern Slovakian christmas day.

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We have christmas dinner and open gifts at 24 December.

The morning usually starts late as we all get to sleep late. We are not supposed to eat at all till the dinner time – only one small portion in the morning. This fast does not apply for kids of course. The meaning behind this feast is to “see the golden pig” = To appreciate the big dinner more.

Around lunch we all help out in kitchen with predation of traditional foods and basically the whole day goes like this – just chilling, watching christmas movies, listening to christmas carols and cooking.

At 6 o’clock when the church bells starts to ring we all start our christmas dinner. It’s a tradition that we all dress up nicely and dine by only candles lights and christmas tree light that we get to decorate earlier that day. Here is how christmas dinner in our family goes on in specific order:

  • We all wash up with money. We put 2 euro coin into a bowl with water and every family member starting from oldest to youngest gets to wash hands and face with the coin. It’s supposed to bring money and fortune for next year.
  • We put that coin under the tablecloth for the dinner and then we give that coin to church next day.
  • We pray before the dinner. We all get to our knees and praying for a while, blessing the food we’re about to consume and we’re ready to start eating.
  • We sit around the table and no one but the mom of the family is allowed to get up of the table – otherwise it brings bad luck to the family.
  • Mum firstly dip her pinky finger into honey and make a cross on our forehead saying “may you be as sweet and as good as this honey
  • First course is raw garlic cut into small pieces slightly salted. You can eat it with bread if you want to. It’s supposed to bring you health for next year.
  • We eat christmas wafer from church dipped in honey for good health as well
  • Next dish is traditional mushroom soup called “mačanka” – can’t really translate that but it’s mushroom cream soup you eat with bread and baked potatoes. Best part is that we usually get to pick the mushrooms up ourselves during the summer and then froze them for winter.
  • Another dish is cabbage and bean soup, also with some mushrooms and after few days we add sausage in it. ( we eat christmas food for next week at least)
  • Next dist is fish – traditionally it’s supposed to be carp – you buy alive one that spends few days in your bath before and then you get to kill it , cook and eat but this tradition never caught up in our family. We usually have salmon with potatoes salad. Our salad is a bit different from what you might imagine. Potatoes re cooked and cut to small pieces just as carrot, pickles, eggs, peas, onions mixed with mayo, mustard and seasoning.
  • We’re still not done so next meal is called “bobaľky” – it’s a dumplings mixed with poppy and milk. I don’t like this food at all because of my string dislike of poppy.
  • Another tradition is that you have to eat small portion of each of the courses – even for the taste.
  • During the dinner we drink eggnog or some other alcohol.
  • This is where dinner ends but traditions don’t.
  • By the end of the dinner we get to cut apple and see if the seeds create flower – shape meaning good luck for the family.
  • Then we blow the candle (and things get creepy). If the smoke blows to the stove in the room it means that the mom/housekeeper dies next year.
  • Then the dessert is served. Tons of christmas cakes while we all sing christmas carols.
  • After songs we move to living room – or where the christmas tree is and we open our gifts.
  • Then we always visit our family in town or they come to us and we all eat, drink and just have a good time.
  • At midnight we all go to church for midnight mass that’s just very beautiful. My favourite part is when all of the lights goes down and everybody sings “silent night”
  • 25 december looks a bit similar – we chill with family, watch christmas movies and eat a lot.

Gotta love the christmas with all of its tradition. I believe they might sound odd to some of you but it’s truly the best time of the year.

Thank you for your attention

xo Natalia

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Natalia 22 Slovak. Read about my passion for fashion, travel and personal experiences.

48 thoughts on “Our traditional Christmas

  1. Natalia, Thank you for a wonderful article, I can almost see you all there I bet there are tears of joy in some eyes, I hope you have a wonderful time, love and best wishes to you and your family. PS. Which one are you in the picture?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Slovakian food sounds something like the Christmas feast in the US- but the fish and veggies are definitely healthier than honey ham! Thanks for sharing, those sound like great traditions that add to the holiday memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a good read. It is always interesting to learn about other cultures, and it is particularly warming to hear that some traditions are still being carried out, rather than everything just becoming one global gloop. HappyChristmas, Natalia.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dearest Natalia
    Your Christmas story was wonderful to read about, Natalia! I loved it. Funny, as well. EGGNOGG!!! LOL. Eggnogg is delicious. I think it is so cool that you have eggnogg in Slovakia. Having a live Carp fish swimming around in the bath tub…LOL! I about spilled my coffee reading that and laughing! I hope that you have a wonderful New Years!

    Semper Fidelis,

    SHARK

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right. That is NOTHING like our own family Christmas in England. 🙂
    No small traditions for our family; no praying, and no going to church. Your Slovakian Christmas sounds like a very good one indeed, even though I am not religious.
    This year, we ate dinner at a restaurant on the 25th, just the two of us. Then we came home and opened presents.

    You all look very smart and attractive, even the dog!
    Very best wishes, and Happy New Year.
    Pete.

    Like

  6. I believe traditions play an important role in our shared society. I like the sound of your traditional Christmas – except the part about the smoke from the candle ( i can see some physics that suggests this would be a frequent direction for smoke to head towards!)

    Maybe i’m not really so keen on the tradition where only Mom can leave the table (‘do all the work/serving’) either? 😉

    But the rest sound great – as does your potato salad! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a wonderful story. I love the learn about different traditions- especially Christmas and Easter. It’s amazing how many things are similar among different groups around the world because of the Catholic traditions. I hope you had a wonderful time. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

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