“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.”
Day 22: Christmas Around The World – Slovakia
- In Slovakia, Christmas celebrations begin with Advent. Many Slovaks are Roman Catholics so this is the start of the important spiritual preparations for Christmas.
- Slovaks also celebrate St. Nicholas’ day on the 6th December. In Slovakia he is known as sv. Mikulas. He comes in the evening of the 5th December and gives presents to good children. Young children place their shoes near the door so sv. Mikulas can fill them with sweets and fruit.
- During Advent, there are lots of preparations to be made for Christmas. This includes cleaning the house, baking, shopping and buying the Christmas Tree.
- Christmas Eve is the most important day for Slovaks. It is called ‘Stedry den’ (the Generous Day). The actual evening is called ‘Stedry vecer’ (the Generous Evening) and the Christmas season is called ‘Vianoce’.
- Slovak Christmas Trees are decorated with coloured lights, fruits, hand-made decorations made of wood, baked goods made with honey in the form of Angels and other religious symbols and sweets. Christmas Trees are kept until January 6th, Feast of the Three Kings (Epiphany).
- Christmas gifts are brought to children by the Baby Jesus. Most people open their presents after the main Christmas meal, although some open them before they eat.
- The main Christmas meal is known as the ‘velija’ and consists of 12 dishes (the number of dishes symbolises the number of Jesus’s disciples). The table is prepared with a white table-cloth with straw and sheaves of wheat at each end.
- Carp is often the fish that is eaten. Some people buy it live and keep it in their bath until it’s time to kill it and cook it.
Big Christmas Quiz
I’d love to see your answers. You could post a reply below with your thoughts.
- Name something beginning with r you might find in your stocking.
- Name something that only happens on Christmas Day.
- Name something you might find in your fridge on Christmas Day.
- Name one thing that you would eat as part of your Christmas Dinner.
- Name as many of Santa’s reindeer as you can.
- What date is St Stephen’s Day?
- London’s Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is traditionally given by which country?
- Which Christmas carol includes the lyrics ‘…To save us all from Satan’s power, when we were gone astray..’?
- What colour are the berries of the mistletoe plant?
- What are the names of the three wise men said to have brought gifts to the baby Jesus?