Which is the one festival that comes dashing into your mind when you think about celebrations? Of course, it’s none other than the Christmas time. When family members get together, beautiful memories and moments are guaranteed. There seems to be an instant bonding of love and uninhibited happiness all over the household, when it’s Christmas season. The blissful festive spirit starts right at the beginning of December and it goes on till New Year. The celebrations reach their summit on the Christmas Eve. This is the very date on which people from around the world celebrates the birth of Christ and the spark of hope and belief in humanity. This special eve of the year is celebrated in different ways in different countries. Here is an attempt to broaden your understanding about this sacred occasion.
Traditional Christmas Eve celebration in Europe
The more ideas you have on celebrating the occasion, the more enjoyment you are guaranteed. Well, that is all you may think of until you stumble up on the traditional Christmas Eve celebration practices carried out in European countries. From the delicious fish dinner of Italians, the Open Christmas Mass in Prague to traditional Lithuanian Christmas dinners, there are so many distinct features in each of these traditions that would leave you in awe. People from Italy traditionally avoid any consumption of meat during the special day. In fact their dinner most notably consists of Shellfish cocktails and delicious hot fish dishes. Italians also sustain the sanctity of the occasion by making seven different types of fish to symbolize the seven day God took to create the world. Italians therefore never lose sight of the real purpose of celebrating the occasion which is to herald the arrival of the savior Jesus Christ.
Now a bit about the traditional aspects of the Christmas Eve celebration in Prague. The Czech people are known to spend the whole day with their family while engaging in different programs and gift presentations before enjoying the delicious meal. Christmas is arguably the most celebrated feast in Prague and people from all over Europe and other continents visit the Czech Republic to experience the heavy frost and explore the beautiful sights of the city which is reminiscent of the typical Christmassy aura at this time of the year. The visitors are advised to be well planned as you could easily get lost in the excessively crowded Prague city amidst all the celebration. The main highlights of the day include the Open Church Mass conducted at 21:00 at the Old Town square, sightseeing tours in the morning and festive music concerts held at historic buildings.
Lithuania is another European country notable for its rich traditional celebration on the Christmas Eve. Lithuanians are immeasurably passionate about their traditions and the family members spend the whole day preparing the table as they expectantly wait to embrace the big day. There would be a traditional prayer chanted by the family members before the dinner. December 24 is considered to be the feast day of Adam and Eve. Therefore, the mother of the house cuts an apple into pieces and gives it to her husband as a symbolic religious practice. Family members are supposed to indulge in the special 12 dish course without leaving anything to waste.
Whichever tradition you choose to follow, don’t forget that Christmas is all about heart and soul. The important thing is to do all the preparations with care and attention. For this holiday brings the whole family together and keeps the close ones together. It is obligatory to keep the family spirit high with traditions like these. So don’t forget the main reasons why this is important for your loved ones and give them all the warmth you can share. No matter how close they are to you, you owe them every bit of respect and gratitude. If you are not sure what will make them happy – just go with your first idea of a present, or a deed that can bring them joy. Be sure to sincerely prepare all the right stuff, so that the Christmas spirit resides in your home.
So, no matter how you choose to approach this bright holiday, be sure to do it heartily. This will make your special days full of joy and happiness. Give and you shall receive everything which you need. After all the festivities are all about sharing and appreciating the common belief in life and optimism. Depending on each other for good and relying on the good side in people is something which we don’t do every day, so it’s nice to remember it at least at this time. The human spirit is genetically orientated towards optimism, so do believe that with a nice Christmas eve you can achieve a better personal life and give example to others on how one can appreciate the joys in it.
Author Bio: Tiffany Brock is an active business lady with more than 10 years in the sales and marketing fields. A mother of two, she is currently managing her own network of marketing agents. She is often dedicating her time to write for different cooking and lifestyle websites and blogs about various favorite recipes, home improvement advice, budgeting and so on. She speaks fluently 5 languages, so it’s no surprise that she writes even for a Danish lifestyle website (such as the “Femina juleaften” website).