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.
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