Christmas Traditions

This may surprise some of you, but yes tomorrow is Christmas day for me. As our Christmas goes, so do our traditions. I’m a bit rusty at explaining them, because some of these traditions are (I think) mainly ours, and I never thought I’d translate them to another language. Even English.

The very first thing that is a must, we always fast the day before Christmas, for us called “Badnje veče” or Christmas eve. So nothing that is of any animal source. Sadly, fish isn’t included, because it’s a water animal, which is discrimination. It’s an animal non the less, but most of the time fish is cooked the day before Christmas or baked beans.

Now bear this with me, this will be very hard to explain, but I’ll show you a few pictures.
badnjak-2

What you see in the picture is dried leaves of various oak trees, with twigs and branches made into some sort of bouquet, which is a tradition to bring this into your house the day before Christmas. It is called a Badnjak, which is why Christmas eve for us is translated Badnje vece, vece means eve.

There is no real translation as to what this truly means, or at least I can’t find the right words, but basically, our story says that on the day that Jesus Christ was born, “badnjak”, plural, were lit in a bonfire to warm the new born baby and his mother. After your lunch, many people, as well as myself and my family, go to church where the bonfire happens. People bring another set of their Badnjak and throw it in the fire and drink boiled wine, sometimes sweetened with honey.

That’s where I came from 20 minutes ago, and I’ll share a picture with you guys.
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There is no real routine on the actual day of Christmas. You wake up, have a toast, and feel merry. Usually, my country bakes some sort of bread;

cesnica

Don’t be mistaken, it’s not a cake, it’s just very decorated bread, called “Česnica”. The tradition is to put one coin in it, while you make it, bake it and right before you start your Christmas lunch, all of your family members stand in a circle around the table, spin it in their hands together in the air, and break it apart.
Everyone takes their own piece and whoever get’s the piece with a coin in it, will have the most luck and fortune will come to them throughout the year. And there’s no cheating. Some families who feel that the oldest male in the household should always get it cheat and plan where the coin will be, but my family doesn’t do that.

When I was younger, I almost always got it.

I sure hope that some of these traditions you guys have heard of, or maybe even do them your household. I honestly celebrate Christmas this way because it’s a cozy, nice way to bring my family together and it makes my mom really happy.

Today I tried blackberry wine for the first time and I must say I was amazed. I don’t like alcohol, at all, but if I had to pick one alcoholic drink that I would drink it’s wine. Red wine. I’m having my third glass right now, and that’s saying a lot for me.

I hope you guys are having a nice evening. I am sipping my wine slowly, talking to friends and nibbling on my almonds.

I’ll update you guys tomorrow on my cozy Christmas!

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