CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN
It's traditional to have an Advent wreath made of straw
or evergreen twigs which has four candles.The
wreath symbolizes endlessness and the four candles
symbolize different parts of history and life.
First Candle (purple): creation - hope;
Second Candle (purple): embodiment - peace;
Third Candle (pink): redemption - joy;
Fourth Candle (purple): ending - love;
In Croatia, we plant wheat grains, usually in a round
dish, which is known as Christmas wheat, on St.
Lucia's Day or on St. Barbara's day.
It's believed that the taller the wheat grows, the more
prosperous the coming year will be.
In Slavonia, where we came for, people observe the
weather on each following day until Christmas, which
falls on the 12th day from St. Lucia's Day. It is believed
that the weather on each of these days shows what
the weather will be like on each of the following
months in the upcoming year.
Eve, the wheat,
tall, green and
beautiful, is tied
with a ribbon
in red, white
and blue – the
colours of the
The Croatian name for Christmas Eve is derived from
the word badnjak – a log lit on Christmas Eve in the
evening ( Badnja večer), usually by the father of the
On Christmas Eve families coming together for ours
traditional meal. On Christmas Eve, most people eat
dried-cod called 'bakalar' or some other kind of fish
as it's considered as meat fast (so you can't eat meat).
We traditionally decorated the Christmas tree and
many people like to go to a Midnight Mass service.
On Christmas Day, Croats wish each
other 'Sretan Bozic' which is the Croatian
way of saying "Merry Christmas".
This is a traditional family day when
people come together and enjoy their
On Christmas the dinner typically
consists of sarme (cabbage rolls, stuffed
with meat and rice), all kinds of roasted
meat, domestic sausages, slanina (bacon)
and panceta (pancetta), cheese
and pršut (prosciutto, typical for
Dalmatia) or kulen (a type of spicy pork
sausages, typical for Slavonia) as well as all
sorts of cakes, baked on Christmas Eve.