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Slovak Christmas - traditional and new

A chain around the table legs and waiting for a golden pig. Some old Christmas traditions survive to this day and others have disappeared.

(Source: TASR)

The same old Christmas songs on the radio, the markets in the city, buying gifts for one’s beloved, cooking and baking and many lights. This is how the majority of people prepare for the holidays these days.

In Slovakia, 95 percent of inhabitants say they celebrate Christmas, based on research by the GfK company and published in 2016. Some of the ancient traditions that have been part of Christmas in Slovakia for generations survive to this day. Others have been transformed or adjusted to the 21st century lifestyle or replaced by new ones, often imported from other cultures.

Family first

“Slovakia still sees Christmas as a time for the family to be together,” explains an ethnologist from Comenius University, Zita Škovierová.

The importance of family might be even more prominent than in the past, when people would live together in one house or one village. Nowadays, people travel long distances just to enjoy a family atmosphere, she explained.

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