There are many other countries that have crazy Christmas traditions. Slovakia on the other hand isn’t one of the crazy ones. They just give things that we kind of do a different name. Our 12 days of Christmas is their Advent. What’s Advent?
Most people in Slovakia are Roman Catholics so this is the start of many spiritual Christmas preparations. Along with Christmas, they also celebrate St. Nicholas’ on December 6th. There is a guy known as SV. Mikulas. He comes during the night (like Santa) and brings presents to the good children. The young children leave their shoes at the door so he can fill their shoes with sweets and fruit. The main tradition is Advent. Advent is a period of four Sundays and weeks, that you prepare for Christmas. Advent means “coming” in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. In my opinion this a good thing because it keeps the real meaning of Christmas. There are 3 meanings to the “coming”. First, is the most remembered, when baby Jesus came into the world to live as the man who died for us. The second meaning, is that Jesus wants to come into our lives now. Finally, the third is that in the future when he comes back as a King and Judge, not a baby anymore. Advent this year started on November 27th, and ends on December 3rd. Advent only ever starts on December 1st when Christmas is on a Wednesday. Which will happen in 2019! There is no evidence to when Advent first started, but some think that it was back when the monks fasted during December until Christmas.
In Slovakia they have special Christmas candles. The color purple usually represents Advent, later changed to pink or rose. One that has the number of days in the December, and you light the candle until it reaches the first hash mark, then you blow it out, and then you repeat for the next day. One kind of candle that is mainly used in churches is an Advent Crown. It sits in a wreath. It consists of four candles around in a circle and one in the middle. One candle is lit the first sunday. Two the second sunday, three on third sunday, and so forth. The middle candle is lit on Christmas Day, which represents Jesus, light of the world.
Carp if often the type of fish eaten at meals. As well as baked ham and roost goose. Most meals include: potato salad, bread mixed with butter and honey and poppy seeds to sweeten, pirohy dumplings, vegetables, and plenty of walnut rolls and cookies. Cookies are a very common desert here. After the meal they usually visit with family and exchange gifts. This isn’t much different here in the United States. In Slovakia, Christmas Eve is called Generous Day. A fun fact that I have found is that since carp is a common food that they eat. So they will buy the carp live and take it home and put it in the bathtub until the next morning.
Slovakia is a very unique when it comes to Christmas Traditions. Anything that we don’t do is very odd, but that’s why we learn and expand our knowledge. Not everyone is the same. So do not assume that other countries do the same thing we do. It might surprise you what some countries do.