Christmas in Macedonia is truly a festive occasion, but it isn’t done the same as many other parts of the world because this country is heavily influenced by the Orthodox Church.
Most of the Christians in Macedonia belong to this church, and that means they will celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
This is because the Orthodox Church still uses the “Julian Calendar” for all of their important dates.
The Christmas Celebration
The Christmas celebrations actually start on January 5th, and this part of the Macedonian Christmas celebration is called “Kolede.”
This is a day for many people and their children to go throughout the neighborhood singing carols. They receive coins, nuts, and an array of fruits.
When the children finish singing, the Macedonians will light huge bonfires. They will often hold these in parks where hundreds of people will be in attendance.
Sometimes they are comprised of smaller events that bring the local community together, complete with lots of traditional foods!
Around this time, many Macedonians will bake some special Christmas bread that will have a coin baked in it.
They pass this bread around, and whoever gets the coins will have luck for the entire next year (and will probably have to host the bonfire too!)
Christmas Eve Meal
Many Macedonians look forward to Christmas Eve, partly because it means they will get to partake in “posna”, which might consist of nuts, dried or fresh fruit, trout, baked cod, kidney beans, slices of bread, potato salad, or a red-pepper dip called Ajvar.
The meal might also include a dish of cabbage leaves with stuffed rice or spices (called Sarma), pickled vegetables, and another round of either coin bread or special holiday bread with a coin in it for everyone to enjoy.
Traditional Oak Yule Log
This traditional dessert (yule log) is also brought into Macedonian homes around this time of year as well.
This is informally called a “log”, but it also is known as a “badnik.” They light it.
Interestingly enough, some Macedonians sometimes call their Christmas Eve meal a “badnik dinner.”
A lot of homes will be decorated with rustic oak branches and people like to put up Christmas trees. Straw on the floor or near a tablecloth is also a common practice.
Christmas Day is another big day for Macedonians, and it is on January 7th.
Most of the Macedonian Christians will attend a church service and then go home and eat a tremendous Christmas feast.
They will usually eat an array of roasted meats, salads, loaves of bread, cheese pies and sweets and cakes.
Finally, Macedonians have a number of Christmas greetings, including ‘Sreken Božik’, which stands for either Happy or Merry Christmas! Its interesting to know how Happy/Merry Christmas is spoken in other languages too.
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Main Points About Christmas in Macedonia
- Like some other orthodox church nations, Macedonia celebrates their Christmas on the 7th day of January.
- The festivity celebrations start on Kolede (the 5th of January). Children go around caroling from house to house.
- There are large bonfires after the singing where people gather at parks or other open spaces. At these gatherings, there are lots of food and merriment.
- Many Macedonians look forward to the Christmas meal (also known badnik dinner), which is had on Christmas eve. The main traditional meals include Posna, Ajvar, Sarma, coin bread or Christmas cake.
- Badnik (The traditional oak yule log) is brought into the house on Christmas Eve.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in Macedonia
The Orthodox Church in Macedonia uses the Julian Calendar and celebrates Christmas on January 7th, but the celebration starts already in the 5th.
Children sing carols to their neighbors and receive coins, nuts, and fruits as a thank you.
People gather around bonfires and have traditional food together and in the evening at dinner, you share a special kind of bread hoping to find the coin in it to get good luck the next year.
Word Cloud for Christmas in Macedonia
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Macedonia. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.