Christmas Eve - a precursor of Christ's birth

Orthodox Christian believers today celebrate Christmas Eve, the day before the big Christmas holiday. According to the Julian calendar, each year Christmas Eve is on January 6th, and Christmas on January 7th - wonderful days when families expect and celebrate the news of Christ's birth in harmony.

On Christmas Eve, from the very morning the voice of children koledari is heard in every house, that with carols for health and prosperity symbolize the voice of angels for the birth of Jesus Christ. The hosts give chestnuts, walnuts, apples, pears, to preserve this beautiful tradition which is passed from generation to generation.
Children koledari

Macedonians celebrate these major holidays  with great respect, when everyone needs to forget the bad and to give  the opportunity to kindness. Even the unhappiest and the poorest people should put a smile on their faces. At least for the moment, everyone should learn to forgive and to open his heart to others.

Badnik (Christmas Eve)
Badnik is a holiday for the family. On this day people stay at their homes with their families. According to tradition, the whole family gathers around the dinner badnik table in the evening, which should be festive and rich, but lean. Christmas Eve marks the end of the 40-day Christmas fast. Housewives prepare baked beans, lean sarma, pitulici, potatoes and fruit and put on the table to be wealthier.

Customs may vary depending on the place, but almost every table has pogacha (bread), bread popularly called kravajche, in which is put a coin. Bread is divided to family members and one piece is left for God and one of the house. It is believed that the one who finds the coin will have health, happiness and success in the coming year.

Badnik table

After dinner, the food is not moved from the table, because it is believed that the Lord would come at night to feed. Others leave the food because they believe that will come the spirits of those who are no longer with us.

Christmas Eve is a night of peace, joy and unity when people greet the birth of Christ.

Today every Orthodox family decorate their homes with Christmas Eve branches (from oak) which symbolizes the expected news about the birth of Jesus Christ, and when the great Christmas holiday comes, people greet with the words "Christ is born - really born."
Badnik branches from oak