We are excited for Christmas together! Christmas holidays are not just holidays of peace, finding suitable gifts for loved ones, Christmas Eve, visiting relatives but much more! Christmas starts from the first Sunday of Advent and ends in January with the feast of the Three Kings (3 Kings Day). Experience this wonderful holiday with us!
The vast majority of people celebrate Christmas and observe Christmas customs, such as singing Christmas Carols, without knowing why. With our magazine we try to bring Christmas closer to the general public. We hope that you will find everything you wanted to know about Christmas and get inspired with us.
What can you find out here?
Why we celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is the second most important Christian holiday after Easter. In our culture, Christmas is a very important season even for non-Christians. Many local and national customs, superstitions and rituals are associated with Advent and Christmas.
Let us now move into the Christmas season and look at the different seasons and their specificities.
The Christmas season is considered to be the period from Advent to Three Kings. The word Christmas comes from the Old High German wāhnachten, which is derived from the words wīha- (to light) and Nacht (night), loosely translated as holy night or more accurately to light the night.
Today, in many countries, Christmas is seen primarily as a holiday of family, love and well-being, and is celebrated regardless of religion.
The celebration of Christmas is associated with many customs and traditions that hark back to pre-Christian winter solstice festivals – the Christmas tree, the manger, Christmas gifts or Christmas candy.
On Christmas Eve, the Christmas tree is traditionally put up and people sit down to Christmas dinner. The highlight of Christmas Eve is the night of the Lord’s birth, during which the Gospel passage about the birth of Jesus is read from the Bible at the midnight service and carols are sung about the birth of the Son of God.
On December 25th, which is the day after Christmas Eve, we celebrate Christmas Day. The day after Christmas, December 26th, is known as the second day of Christmas or Saint Stephen’s Day, where people would go caroling and visit relatives. December 28th is known as the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which remembers the innocent children who were massacred on the orders of King Herod when he learned of Jesus’ birth.
What Christmas holidays do we celebrate?
Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th every year, which marks the birth of Jesus Christ according to Christian tradition. In the United States, many people also consider the Christmas season to begin around Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) and end on January 1st, which is New Year’s Day. However, the specific dates of Christmas celebrations and events may vary depending on individual traditions and cultural practices.
The season of Advent is a preparation for Christmas. It begins with the First Sunday of Advent, which falls on the Sunday between 27 November and 3 December, and ends on 24 December.
December 24th, is not a federal holiday, but many businesses and organizations close early, or are closed for the day. There are many traditions and superstitions associated with Christmas Eve, the most famous of which has been the giving of gifts to symbolize the generosity of God since the 14th century.
Most workers and students enjoy this day as a public holiday. Families visit each other, tables overflow with food.
While not a Christmas holiday, many people celebrate the end of the year and the start of the new one with parties, gatherings, and special events.
A Jewish holiday that usually falls around the same time as Christmas, although the exact dates vary from year to year. It usually lasts for eight days and celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days in the Temple.
While not a holiday, many Americans also participate in the tradition of “Black Friday,” which is the day after Thanksgiving and is known for being a big shopping day with sales and discounts.
Christmas traditions and customs
Christmas Eve still belongs to Advent, and Christmas begins with the rising of the first evening star. There are many different traditions and customs associated with Christmas: the Christmas tree, gift-giving, Christmas candy, Bethlehem, mistletoe, or Christmas carols. Some of these traditions date back to pre-Christian times and are linked to the celebration of the solstice, which also falls on these days.
Another major tradition is exchanging gifts, either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Many families have a tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve, while others open all of their gifts on Christmas morning.
Watching classic Christmas movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story,” and “Elf” is a beloved tradition for many families. Similarly, listening to Christmas music by artists such as Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, and Michael Bublé is a staple of the holiday season.
Many families also have a tradition of baking and cooking special Christmas treats like cookies, cakes, and pies. Some families also prepare a special Christmas feast with traditional dishes like turkey, ham, or roast beef.
Christmas markets are street markets in the Advent season associated with the celebration of Christmas. Their origins date back to the Middle Ages, when they gradually spread from Germany and Austria to the rest of the world and became part of Christmas traditions.
During Christmas markets, cities are lit up with lights and a festive atmosphere. The festive atmosphere of the Christmas markets is evoked by the magnificently decorated stalls offering a variety of Christmas and handmade goods, mulled wine, punch, hot chocolate, baked sausages, mince pies and other regional delicacies. The whole atmosphere is enhanced by carols and street concerts.
For many Christians, attending church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is an important part of the holiday. Many churches hold special services, such as midnight mass or candlelight services, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In many families, it’s customary for children to leave cookies and milk out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, and for parents to read “The Night Before Christmas” or other holiday stories to their children before they go to bed.
Finally, many families make an effort to give back to their communities during the holiday season. This might involve volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food bank, donating to a charity, or participating in a toy drive to provide gifts for children in need.
The Christmas tree is an inherent part of Christmas traditions. We decorate it with Christmas decorations, bright lights, candles, candy and colourful chains. A decorated Christmas tree is a lavish festive feature of any interior or exterior. In the evening, Santa Claus presents Christmas gifts under the tree.
Every year before Christmas we send our wishes to our loved ones for a pleasant Christmas and good luck for the New Year. Postcards, greeting cards and postage stamps have religious or Christmas motifs. Nowadays, traditional greeting cards are often replaced by Christmas emails or text messages with themed rhymes.
Christmas customs are usually based on folk superstitions and speak to us through symbols. Symbols and symbolism are understood by everyone, regardless of generation, nation and culture. Symbols increase the sense of belonging of a particular group and help to bring society together.
Advent and Christmas flower arrangements serve not only to decorate the home and create a festive atmosphere, but also have a symbolic meaning – especially when used in church liturgy.
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Candy canes are a popular Christmas treat that are shaped like a cane or a shepherd’s crook. They are often flavored with peppermint or other flavors and are traditionally red and white in color.
Perhaps the most iconic Christmas symbol, the Christmas tree is an evergreen tree that is traditionally decorated with lights, ornaments, and tinsel. The use of Christmas trees during the holiday season is believed to have originated in Germany in the 16th century, and the tradition was later popularized in the US during the 19th century.
The nativity scene is a depiction of the birth of Jesus Christ, and it often includes figures of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus, as well as shepherds, wise men, and animals. Nativity scenes are commonly displayed in homes and churches during the Christmas season.
The Christmas wreath is a circular decoration made from evergreen branches and other materials, such as berries, pinecones, and ribbons. It is often hung on doors and windows as a symbol of welcome and hospitality.
Christmas lights are a popular decoration during the holiday season, and they are often used to decorate Christmas trees, homes, and public spaces. They are said to represent the light of Christ and the hope and joy of the season.
Traditional Christmas Foods and Drinks
From delicious holiday dishes to festive drinks, we’ll take you on a journey through the flavors and aromas that make Christmas such a special time of year.
Here, you’ll find recipes for classic Christmas dishes like roasted ham, turkey, or goose, traditional Czech Christmas potato salad, and the world-famous Christmas dessert, gingerbread cookies. We’ll also share tips and tricks for preparing and serving these dishes, so you can impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.
In addition to food, we’ll also explore the festive drinks that make Christmas so merry. From mulled wine and eggnog to hot cocoa and cider, we’ll introduce you to a variety of traditional Christmas beverages that will warm your heart and your soul.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just getting started in the kitchen, our “Traditional Christmas Foods and Drinks” category is the perfect place to discover new and exciting holiday recipes and drinks. So join us on this culinary adventure and get ready to savor the flavors of the season!
Vanocka is a traditional Czech Christmas bread that is usually braided and has a sweet, brioche-like texture. It is made with flour, eggs, milk, yeast, sugar, and sometimes raisins, almonds, or other dried fruits. The bread is typically baked in a round or oval shape, and is often decorated with a dusting of powdered sugar or slivered almonds. Vanocka is a beloved holiday treat in the Czech Republic and is often served on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning with butter or jam.
Christmas fish soup is a traditional dish served in many countries during the holiday season, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. The soup is typically made with a variety of fish, such as carp, trout, or pike, along with vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery, and flavored with herbs and spices like parsley, bay leaves, and black pepper. The soup is usually served hot and is a hearty, flavorful dish that is perfect for warming up on cold winter days. Christmas fish soup is often enjoyed on Christmas Eve as part of a festive meal or as a main course during the holiday season.
Christmas potato salad is a traditional dish that is often served during the holiday season in many parts of the world, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. It typically consists of boiled potatoes that are mixed with vegetables such as carrots, pickles, onions, and celery, and dressed with a mayonnaise-based sauce or a vinegar-based dressing. The salad is often garnished with hard-boiled eggs, herbs like parsley, and sometimes bacon or ham. Christmas potato salad is a delicious and hearty side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses, such as roasted ham or turkey, and is a staple of many Christmas dinners and celebrations.
Christmas sweets are a beloved part of holiday traditions in many countries around the world. These sweet treats are often enjoyed as desserts or as snacks during the Christmas season. They come in a wide variety of flavors, shapes, and sizes, and are made with ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Popular Christmas sweets include gingerbread cookies, fruitcake, candy canes, peppermint bark, marzipan, and chocolate truffles, among others. Many of these treats are decorated with festive designs, such as snowflakes or Christmas trees, and are often given as gifts or used to decorate Christmas trees and holiday tables. Christmas sweets are a delicious and indulgent way to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends.
Christmas eggnog is a classic holiday drink that is enjoyed by many people around the world. It is a rich, creamy beverage that is typically made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks. The drink is often flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract, and sometimes contains alcohol, such as brandy, rum, or whiskey, to give it an extra kick. Eggnog is usually served cold and is often garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Christmas eggnog is a festive and indulgent drink that is perfect for sipping on a cozy winter evening, and is a popular addition to many Christmas gatherings and celebrations.
Christmas mulled wine, also known as spiced wine, is a traditional holiday beverage that is popular in many countries around the world. It is typically made by heating red wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes citrus fruits like oranges or lemons. The warm, spiced wine is often sweetened with honey or sugar, and sometimes contains brandy or rum for added flavor. Christmas mulled wine is served hot and is a comforting and festive drink that is perfect for sipping on cold winter nights. It is often enjoyed at Christmas markets, holiday parties, and other festive gatherings, and is a great way to spread holiday cheer and warmth.