Hello sweet friends!
You must be wondering "What?!"
Yes: It's CHRISTMAS!
The Serbian Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian Calendar. From 1900 until 2100, the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian and therefore Serbian Christmas Day falls on 7th of January of the Gregorian calendar. Note "Christmas Day" is in fact only the first day of Christmas, as the festival is celebrated for three consecutive days.
The Serbian name for Christmas is Božić.
There are many, complex traditions associated with the Christmas holidays. They are most likely to be seen in their purest form in large, extended families in the country. They slightly vary from place to place.
Absolute "must have" for Christmas Eve:
(don't mind my table cloth)
Dried fruit (plums, apricots and raisins), apples, ranges,
candle light burning between the wheat grass,
straw and oak branch.
The Serbian name for Christmas Eve during the day is Badnji dan. After sunset it becomes Christmas eve - Badnje veče. On this day the family makes preparations for the oncoming celebration.
The dinner on this day is festive, copious and diverse in foods, although it is prepared in accordance with the rules of fasting. Groups of young people go from house to house, congratulating the holiday, singing, and making performances - all dressed up in their lovely masks.
First day of the holiday is Christmas Day. Today.
I'm quite looking foreward eating our Christmas "bread" - most unlikely name for the magnificent piece of pastry filled with walnuts, raisins and honey. (unlike the rest of our country, in my region we don't bake a simple bread - we like our elaborate):
Much more pleasing than a plain dry bread.
There's one more thing I'm looking forward: somewhere in that 50x50 centimeter (20 x 20 inches) pastry is a golden coin. If I find it, I'll let you know. :)
♥♥ Pinky Honey