- This topic has 15 voices and 75 replies.
- January 5, 2017 at 4:59 am #344316
I was reading about Christmas customs and wondered what are common modern Slavic Christmas traditions. Are the old customs of the 19th century still practiced? Or, did Communism/Socialism destroy the old ways and create new traditions?
Courses can run into
the double digits. Polish people often host a Wigilia, or “Star Supper,” on
Christmas Eve: an extravagant 12-course banquet of dumplings, herring in wine
sauce, and more.
Foods or other traditions to bring good luck
the oldest man in the house is supposed to take a spoon of loksa pudding, made from poppy seed and bread, and
chuck it at the ceiling. The more that sticks, the luckier the family will
families leave the remains of the Christmas Day feast on the table overnight so
that ghosts can dig in, too.
Carp in the bath
In Slovakia and several other eastern European countries, the main
course of the Christmas Eve feast is usually carp. But the digestive tracts of
these bottom-feeders are often full of river mud, so families buy a live carp
days before the meal, take it home in a plastic bag, and then drop it in the
filled family bathtub—where it swims in circles for days, flushing the mud from
its system. When it’s time to eat, it’s traditional for the father to take the
fish and chop its head off. Some animal rights activists have tried to ban the
practice—in recent years painting their faces like carp and holding protests
outside grocery stores, chanting, “Free the carp!” Other Slovakians become very
fond of their fishy friends over Christmas, even giving them a name. “In my
childhood,” one Bratislava resident told NPR.com,
“I remember thinking, ‘Poor carp.’”
I thought this was an interesting fact:
For a time, England
banned anything resembling the decadent Catholic faith.
Figgy Pudding, also
known as plum pudding or Christmas pud, is a soccer ball–shaped steamed
fruitcake dating back to medieval England that actually contains neither figs
nor plums. In the 1650s, Oliver Cromwell and the ruling Puritans banned it,
along with carol singing and Nativity scenes—arguing that all three too closely
resembled the inappropriate decadence associated with the Catholic faith. When
the English monarchy returned, it restored figgy pudding, though, and it has
been a staunch Christmas tradition ever since.January 5, 2017 at 9:44 am #389413
>In Slovakia and several other eastern European countries, the main
course of the Christmas Eve feast is usually carp
Only in Catholic countries, because of the conflation of st. Nicholas day with Christmas. Real Christians eat carp one week earlier.January 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm #389414
“Real Christians” hahahahahahahahahahaJanuary 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm #389403
I don’t know if Belarusians are real Christians but we don’t have a tradition of eating carp on Christmas Eve or a week earlier. We have many similar Christmas dishes with Catholic Poles. Carp is not one of them. I am not sure if Catholic Lithuanians have a tradition of eating carp on Christmas either. In Belarus there are commercial fisheries growing carp exporting it to Poland. Poles love carp on Christmas.
I am not fond of carp. In fact, I don’t like it at all. It has many bones having smell of ooze (slime? – I can think of the word in English) . It’s muddy underwater grass in lakes.
I like fresh water fish perch, trout , probably spike and many others. Carp is not one of them.January 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm #389397
@aaaaa Why do you eat carp one week earlier?January 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm #389398
Technically it’s almost 3 weeks earlier, on st. Nicholas’ day.
@texczech82 is there something you want to tell me, heretic?January 5, 2017 at 4:51 pm #389399
@aaaaa indeed. I’m just over here practicing witchcraft, alchemy, and the eating of my tribe’s young.January 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm #389400
Aye, in Bulgaria we eat carp (or any kind of fish, if you can’t afford or simply don’t like carp) on my namesday, the 6th of December. While on Christmas Eve we eat only lenten/meatless foods and on the table they must be of an odd number (usually 7, 9 or 11). These usually include oshav (“kompot” from dried fruits, usually plums), meatless sarmi (which, for some reason, always taste best then, at least in my experience), beans soup, stuffed peppers, boiled wheat, fruits and/or others (f.e. in my area – a mix of vinegar, garlic and walnuts is traditional). Also, of course, a round bread with fortunes (pogacha s kasmeti). As Karpivna mentioned, traditionally the food is left on the table overnight (and nobody should get up from the table during dinner) and for those with a fireplace – a special big log, called badnik, should be left to burn all night long. Also, in the evening (or in my area – the next morning) groups of young men, called koledari, walk from house to house where they’re gifted with various food types (particularly a special small bread, called kolache in my place) and sing ritual songs for health, fertility etc. (Not to be confused with the survakari, btw, which are younger boys which go from house to house after New Year and beat people on the back with a decorated branch, again for health.) Also, when I was a kid, I used to play with my grandfather something similar to a game of marbles, but instead of marbles we used walnuts rolling down from a roof tile (and on the first day of Christmas he’d traditionally catch some sparrows to be roasted; until I got upset about it, at least).January 6, 2017 at 10:27 am #389426
There is no tradition of eating carp on saint Nicholas’ day here.Just the one of kids shining their boot and leaving it on by the window,so that saint Nicholas can stuff it with gifts if they were good,or just a twig if they were bad.January 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm #389428
What if i don’t eat fish, can i still into Christianity? 😮January 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm #389435
No,Christianity frowns upon homosexuals.January 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm #389436
@Gvarda takes one to know one.January 6, 2017 at 7:10 pm #348674
@Gvarda what do you do with it then, if not eat it? Stare at it?January 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm #348647
@Kat Then tell me when you spot one.January 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm #348648
@aaaaa You mean the carp?
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