Christmas traditions in Slovakia

Upravené: sobota, 22. október 2011

Christmas is the holiday that people look forward to in every country. It is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Among the many Christmas symbols are evergreen trees, candles, stars, angels, bells, wreaths, holy and mistletoe but each country has different customs and traditions.
In Slovakia, four weeks before Christmas Advent begins.


We decorate our houses with a Christmas wreath and candles. Everybody runs from the shop to the shop and look for some presents. We also send Christmas cards to our friends and relatives. Mothers make some sweets, usually vanilla rolls and Christmas cookies. On Christmas Eve, in the morning, we decorate a Christmas tree with electric lights, little things made of straw, glass balls and some sweets and we put some presents under the tree. We don´t eat anything all day, but the Christmas Dinner is very rich. Many Slovak families have a tradition to put coins under plates before dinner (to ber rich). There is ussualy one extra plate in case someone unexpected appears. We start the dinner with special Christmas waffles with honey and garlic ( to be healthy next year). The traditional Christmas soup is sauerkraut – soup with sausages and mushrooms and we finish the dinner with fried carp and potatoe salad. During the dinner we drink some wine, brandy or Coca Cola. After the dinner we unwrap the presents and we listen to Christmas Carols and we are all happy. Then we watch TV and at midnight we go to Midnight Mass. On Christmas Day we are usually at home and we go to church again or we visit our relatives. Some people go skiing to the mountains, were they can celebrate Christmas and New Year´s Eve and New Year´s Day.
Typical Christmas decoration in churches.
Long queues at the markets are not rare one or two days before Christmas. Children are happy to se the fish in the casks and keep them in their baths but they don`t like when their parents have to kill them.










In the past Christmas time was a time of magic. For example, people tried to see the future. There were many ways to do it. Here are some things you need for it:

Walnut Shells

Make little boats out of empty walnut shells. Each family member should place a little burning candle into a shell. All shells then float on a bowl of water. If your shell makes it across the bowl, you will live a long and healthy life but if it sinks you will have bad luck. Nowadays instead of walnut shells only candles.


The Apple 
After Christmas dinner, everybody cuts an Apple vertically in half. If the seeds are shaped as a star, it means happiness and health for everyone next year. A fourpointed cross means that someone at the table will be ill or die within a year. 



Melt a piece of lead and then pour it into a container of water. Its shape will tell you your fate.