Hey. Christmas is always associated with traditions and I guess you guys might not be familiar with Slovak Christmas traditions.

It’s so much different than the US, UK, or other Christmases I saw on Tv. The traditions differ in different parts of Slovakia and families as well. I’m gonna introduce you to my family’s eastern Slovak Christmas day.

We have Christmas dinner and open gifts on 24 December. December 25 is just for chilling.

The morning usually starts later on as we all get to sleep late. We are not supposed to eat at all till dinner time. Only one small portion in the morning. This fast does not apply to kids of course.

The meaning behind this feast is to “see the golden pig” = To appreciate the big dinner more.

Around lunch, we all get help out in the kitchen with the preparation of traditional foods. Basically, the whole day goes like this – just chilling, watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas carols, and cooking.

At 6 o’clock when the church bells start to ring all over the town, we all start our Christmas dinner. It’s a tradition that we all dress up nicely and dine by only candle lights and Christmas tree lights that we get to decorate earlier that day.

Here is how Slovak Christmas dinner in our family goes on in specific order:

  • We all wash up with the money. We put 2 euro coin into a bowl with water and every family member starting from oldest to youngest gets to wash hands and face with the coin. It’s supposed to bring money and fortune for next year.
  • We put that coin under the tablecloth for the dinner and then we give that coin to church the next day.
  • We pray before dinner. Then we all get to our knees and pray for a while. Blessing the food we’re about to consume and we’re ready to start eating.
  • We sit around the table and no one but the mom of the family is allowed to get up from the table – otherwise, it brings bad luck to the family.
  • Mum firstly dip her pinky finger into honey and make a cross on our forehead saying

may you be as sweet and as good as this honey

  • The first course is raw garlic cut into small pieces and slightly salted. You can eat it with bread if you want to. It’s supposed to bring you health for next year.
  • We eat Christmas wafer from church dipped in honey for good health as well
  • The next dish is traditional mushroom soup called “mačanka” – can’t really translate that but it’s mushroom cream soup you eat with bread and baked potatoes. The best part is that we usually get to pick the mushrooms up ourselves during the summer and then froze them for winter.
  • Another dish is cabbage and bean soup, also with some mushrooms and after few days we add the sausage in it. ( we eat Christmas food for next week at least)
  • Next dist is fish – traditionally it’s supposed to be carp. You buy alive one that spends a few days in your bath before and then you get to kill it, cook and eat but this tradition never caught up in our family. We usually have salmon with potato salad. Our salad is a bit different from what you might imagine. Potatoes are cooked and cut into small pieces just as carrots, pickles, eggs, peas, onions mixed with mayo, mustard, and seasoning.
  • We’re still not done so the next meal is called “bobaľky” – it’s a dumpling mixed with poppy seeds and milk. I don’t like this food at all because of my strong dislike of the poppy.
  • Another tradition is that you have to eat a small portion of each of the courses – just for the taste.
  • During the dinner, we drink eggnog or some other alcohol.
  • This is where dinner ends but traditions don’t.

  • By the end of the dinner, we get to cut apple and see if the seeds create flower – shape meaning good luck for the family.
  • Then we blow the candle (and things get creepy). If the smoke blows to the stove in the room it means that the mom/housekeeper dies next year.
  • Then the dessert is served. Tons of Christmas cakes while we all sing Christmas carols.
  • After songs, we move to the living room – or where the Christmas tree is and we open our gifts.
  • Then we always visit our family in town or they come to us and we all eat, drink and just have a good time.
  • At midnight we all go to church for midnight mass that’s just very beautiful. My favorite part is when all of the lights go down and everybody sings “silent night”
  • 25 December looks a bit similar – we chill with family, watch Christmas movies and eat a lot.

Gotta love the Slovak Christmas with all of its tradition.

I believe they might sound odd to some of you but it’s truly the best time of the year.

Thank you for your attention
xo Natalia


  1. December 23, 2018 / 11:04 pm

    Love traditions and learning about the world. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. December 23, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

  3. December 24, 2018 / 12:33 am

    Your Christmas traditions are absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing them.

  4. December 24, 2018 / 2:09 am

    Enjoyed reading about your traditions. Merry Christmas

  5. December 24, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Great post!!! I loved reading and learning about you Christmas traditions, than you for sharing. Have a wonderful Christmas xx

  6. December 24, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    thanks for sharing, have an epic holiday season.

  7. December 24, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Natalia, Thank you for a wonderful article, I can almost see you all there I bet there are tears of joy in some eyes, I hope you have a wonderful time, love and best wishes to you and your family. PS. Which one are you in the picture?

  8. December 24, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    Really enjoyed reading about your family’s traditions which are so different than mine even though we celebrate the same holiday. Merry Christmas.

  9. December 25, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    Beautifully described Natalia. Love the Slovakian traditions.
    Merry Christmas

  10. December 26, 2018 / 4:15 am

    Slovakian food sounds something like the Christmas feast in the US- but the fish and veggies are definitely healthier than honey ham! Thanks for sharing, those sound like great traditions that add to the holiday memories.

  11. December 27, 2018 / 9:59 am

    Thank You!!!!
    Very enjoyable
    Robert StrongBow

  12. December 28, 2018 / 2:59 am

    Enjoyed learning of your Slovakian Christmas traditions.

  13. December 28, 2018 / 3:25 pm

    I am happy you had a fine Christmas. I truly enjoyed learning how Slovakians celebrated.

  14. December 29, 2018 / 12:04 am

    I love to hear about other peoples traditions and it sounds like so much fun! Hope you had a good Christmas 🙂

  15. December 29, 2018 / 7:29 am

    This was a good read. It is always interesting to learn about other cultures, and it is particularly warming to hear that some traditions are still being carried out, rather than everything just becoming one global gloop. HappyChristmas, Natalia.

  16. December 29, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    Dearest Natalia
    Your Christmas story was wonderful to read about, Natalia! I loved it. Funny, as well. EGGNOGG!!! LOL. Eggnogg is delicious. I think it is so cool that you have eggnogg in Slovakia. Having a live Carp fish swimming around in the bath tub…LOL! I about spilled my coffee reading that and laughing! I hope that you have a wonderful New Years!
    Semper Fidelis,

    • nat7x
      January 1, 2019 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you

  17. December 30, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    You’re right. That is NOTHING like our own family Christmas in England. 🙂
    No small traditions for our family; no praying, and no going to church. Your Slovakian Christmas sounds like a very good one indeed, even though I am not religious.
    This year, we ate dinner at a restaurant on the 25th, just the two of us. Then we came home and opened presents.
    You all look very smart and attractive, even the dog!
    Very best wishes, and Happy New Year.

    • nat7x
      January 1, 2019 / 4:25 pm

      That’s interesting – thank you

    • nat7x
      January 1, 2019 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you

  18. January 1, 2019 / 1:41 pm

    I’m not a Christmas person, but I enjoyed reading about your traditions.

    • nat7x
      January 1, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Thanks glad you like it

  19. January 2, 2019 / 2:02 pm

    Wonderful post. I enjoyed reading other cultures and traditions including Christmas. Yours was so interesting. Love the carp in your bath tub. Happy New Year!

    • nat7x
      January 2, 2019 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you

  20. January 3, 2019 / 8:12 am

    I believe traditions play an important role in our shared society. I like the sound of your traditional Christmas – except the part about the smoke from the candle ( i can see some physics that suggests this would be a frequent direction for smoke to head towards!)
    Maybe i’m not really so keen on the tradition where only Mom can leave the table (‘do all the work/serving’) either? 😉
    But the rest sound great – as does your potato salad! 🙂

    • nat7x
      January 3, 2019 / 10:07 am

      Yes i agree, thank you

  21. January 3, 2019 / 10:42 pm

    When I was a kid growing up, we had our main Christmas dinner and opened up presents on the 24th of December as well.
    Then we’d go to Midnight Mass afterwards.

  22. January 4, 2019 / 2:12 pm

    What a wonderful story. I love the learn about different traditions- especially Christmas and Easter. It’s amazing how many things are similar among different groups around the world because of the Catholic traditions. I hope you had a wonderful time. Happy New Year.

    • nat7x
      January 4, 2019 / 2:27 pm

      I did – thank you

  23. January 5, 2019 / 12:06 am

    Superb post. I love learning about traditions from around the world, and what a gift for you to share yours. It was almost like being there.

    • nat7x
      January 5, 2019 / 12:06 am

      Thank you

  24. January 5, 2019 / 3:29 am

    It was so lovely to read about your traditions – beautiful photo too.

    • nat7x
      January 5, 2019 / 9:31 am

      Thanks 🙂

  25. January 9, 2019 / 8:54 am

    So happy to have read you. Anand Bose from Kerala

  26. January 16, 2019 / 4:36 pm

    Thank you for liking my most recent post. Digging your blog

    • nat7x
      January 16, 2019 / 9:44 pm

      Thank you

  27. January 20, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    Thank you for liking my post!
    Loved yours on the Slovakian Christmas traditions…..interesting to note that family time is important – cute one!

    • nat7x
      January 20, 2019 / 1:24 pm

      Thank you

  28. January 20, 2019 / 10:34 pm

    Be encouraged! It was wonderful to share Christmas with you and your family through your blog.

  29. carlambrown
    January 22, 2019 / 5:29 am

    Thanks for sharing your culture! It sounds very exciting :o)
    ~Carla Michelle

    • nat7x
      January 22, 2019 / 5:29 am

      Thank you

      • carlambrown
        January 22, 2019 / 5:32 am

        You’re very welcome.

  30. January 24, 2019 / 8:10 am

    Lovely to read – Polish traditions are similar with fasting and a big meal with lots of dishes on Wigilia – Christmas Eve.
    I have written a post about this on my blog.
    Good to read yours

  31. February 19, 2019 / 6:10 pm

    It is interesting to read how the same festival or celebration is held differently across cultures/countries

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