Macedonia officially the Republic of Macedonia is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. The Capital and largest city Skopje.
Christmas Celebrations in Macedonia :
In Macedonia, Christmas in Known as Bozik. the Macedonian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas Day on January 7th. The is because the church goes by the Julian calendar and the 25th on this calendar falls on the January 7th on the Gregorian calendar, which is the internationally accepted civil calendar. In Macedonia Christmas Celebrations last for five days.
It all starts on the night of 5 January when groups of people get together to build an oak wood fire as a symbol of the “light” that was foretold would come into the world. According to legend, the shepherds brought oak branches to the stable where baby Jesus was born so that he and his family could warm themselves. Orthodox believers decorate their homes with oak branches, a symbol of the love of Christ as well as of firmness and fertility. According to some interpretations the oak branches are a symbol of the later suffering of Christ on the cross.
The following day, 6 January, is popularly called Коледе. Neighborhood children go door to door with a bag in hand singing the Kolede lede, a special song which earns them apples, candies, coins, and nuts in return. The night on the 6th is called or Christmas Eve. On that evening the whole family gathers together for a special meal. Christian Macedonians have a saying, which in English means “Wherever you are, be home for Christmas.” Most Macedonians live by this rule and spend Christmas Eve at home with their closest ones. As a result, the streets clear out and windows are lit as families gather in homes around the country. A typical meal include Sarma (rice filled) Fish (fried white fish) Baked beans (gravche tavche) Maznik Turshija (pickled veggies) Walnuts, Chestnuts, apples, figs (for dessert) and Wine.
The meal starts with the breaking of a special loaf of bread with a coin hidden inside, a custom that started long ago when a saint who, instead of giving them money in public, gave out loaves of bread with coins hidden inside. By tradition, the one who receives the piece of bread with a coin inside will have good luck follow them throughout the coming year. Usually it is the eldest in the family who breaks the bread and hands a piece to each member.
The 7 January or Christmas Day is dedicated to visiting extended family. People make a lot of food, invite relatives and friends over and celebrate all day long.
We wish all readers Merry Christmas 2016 & Prosperous New Year 2017 !!!