Customs of Christmas in the Balkans
Customs of Christmas in the Balkans
In Croatia, fruits, nuts, sweets, candles and glass ornaments, decorate the Christmas tree in the family. The festive season starts on 13 December (Feast of St. Lucia), where families put grains of wheat in a bowl with water. The seeds grow and the night of their Christmas blends in with the so-called "trobojnica" a ribbon of red, blue and white. Legend has it that a woman returns to neighborhoods and to provide figs, almonds, nuts and apples. In many areas, families shedding straw on the floors of their homes, but under the Christmas table, Christmas Eve. Family members make wishes for health, good fortune and often sit on the straw.
In Gkrampovnitsa each family decorates the Christmas tree in the garden and house with thousands of lights and ornaments thus included in the list of the agency's tourism area and the Tourism Agency of Croatia as an attractive destination for visitors from other countries. The result is as impressive as the photos from the Christmas decorations "hosted" several portals.
In Romania, the Christmas carol "shedding" in the winter air to signal the birth of Christ and sweeten the hearts of Romanians celebrate Christmas respecting traditions. In the streets of towns and villages, young people and children singing carols, while fathers are putting coins in the pockets of pants for their children to be the New Year abundant and generous with them. Also, on Christmas Day, the bread is placed under the table to bring luck to the family wheat and placed under the tablecloth to be a good crop of New Year. On December 20 Romanians celebrate the day of St. Ignatius (the day begins and the celebration of Christmas). Prohibited work and the only work that are mainly housewives to do is to prepare the Christmas dinner menu.
In Serbia, people say "Srecan Bozic" (Merry Christmas) holiday table and eat "cesnica" a special kind of bread that is traditional for Christmas. Each family member gets a piece, while a piece intended for the home. This is a "kind" New Year cake, and bread is in a coin and whoever finds, is considered lucky for the new year. Ideally, festive environment in Serbia, "compose" and cut the tree (usually oak) on Christmas Eve. "A big piece of the tree is usually thrown in the fireplace of the house for good luck. Moreover, a packet of straw scattered on the floor of the house, while the festive table "characterized" by a variety of dishes. On the day of Christmas, the celebration "transferred" to the churches where the bells ring and invite people to celebrate the birth of Christ. Particular attention has - according to tradition - the first visitor to the house, and should be considered lucky to bring the family good luck for the New Year. Indeed, most to be sure you have good luck the New Year, choose the first visitor.
In Bulgaria, every year on December 24, all family members gathered early to prepare the festive table. Legend has it that the bread has prepared an unmarried or newly married girl. The bread is decorated with items that symbolize their pets, and the field. In this place a lucky coin. The same girl makes round cakes for the young to sing carols. Before the festive table, the housewives exorcise home and all rooms, garden and Acheron - where it exists - to exorcise evil spirits. Nothing borrowed that day to the riches of the family to remain in it during the year. 'A separate ceremony is "koleduvane": dressed and singing carols, young boys involved in the ceremony, roam from house to house to wish prosperity, good fortune and health. Then come other youths having cornel sticks, decorated with ribbons, corn and fruit, gently knocking people on their shoulders and wish them health, longevity and success. The opening celebrations of Christmas and New Year's Day marks the day of St. Ignatius, which is celebrated on December 22.
By long tradition, many traditions "piece" of the common European heritage in Slovenia "star" carols and decorating the Christmas tree. Of course, the bread that "decorates" the Christmas table, "carries" and that his "burden" because, according to tradition, will bring people and pets, health, strength and energy. The "calendar," also will bring them to every house wishes for health, luck and blessing. During the Christmas and New Year, every home, housewives chase away evil spirits. On Christmas Eve, families gather at home and older family members handing out sweets to children and fruits.
In Bosnia, The families decorate their homes with ivy, the festive menu includes roast beef and pork, while there are cakes, pies and cookies from the festive table. Christmas all families visited each other and exchange greetings.