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Christmas

CHRISTMAS, as one of the most important Christian holidays, has inspired enough traditions in Slovakia throughout the ages to fill a small book.

CHRISTMAS, as one of the most important Christian holidays, has inspired enough traditions in Slovakia throughout the ages to fill a small book.

The traditions differed according to region.

For example, Christmas Eve dinner was a humble occasion in Lendak, a mountainous village below the High Tatras, where people sat on benches and crowded around a steaming bowl of pirohy with bryndza or tvaroh (potato dumplings filled with sheep cheese or curd). Another version was rezance (noodles) with curd or poppy seeds. For poor people, which included most of the village, this was the best meal of the year.

The Christmas meal then had to be washed down. The tradition was to drink 12 shots of spirits - one for each apostle. This was why Christmas Eve dinners often lasted into the early morning.

The Christmas card shown above dates back to the Second World War.

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