Christmas traditions persevere in Bratislava region

IN THE region of today’s Bratislava – earlier called Pressburg in German, Pozsony in Hungarian and Prešporok in Slovak – Croatian, Czech or Jewish traditions also added to a specific cultural combination most visible during special occasions and community festivities, like Christmas.

Christmas rituals around Slovakia.(Source: Sme - Vladimír Šimíček)

Advent, the time of preparing for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth, was an ideal time to settle disputes, as on the Christmas Eve nobody would sit down to the festive dinner angry. The symbol of Advent, wreath with four candles, first appeared in the burgher milieu of Prešporok, spreading to the surrounding countryside.

Some other rituals were connected with the Advent, for example pouring hot lead into cold water through old big keys, to tell the future from the shape of the lead, for example single girls tried to guess the job of their future husband. This was mostly done on St Andrew’s Day, November 30.

Some more rituals were connected with the name days of St Barbara – December 4 and St Lucia, December 13. They were part of the so-called “witches’ days” that lasted from St Catherine’s day, November 11, until Christmas Eve.

 

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