Christmas period in Slovakia starts 24th December on Christmas Eve, when families are gathering and eating Christmas dinner. Children were told that if they endured eating nothing until Christmas dinner, they would see a gold star or a gold piglet. Christmas trees are often prepared a few days before. The families are preparing various sweets, cakes and another food necessity for the dinner. Gingerbread or other cakes are already baked. The most popular main course in almost every family is fish with potato salad. Honey and waffles are often served before dinner, which refer to as a symbol of having enough money during an upcoming year. There is also an apple cut on the table for good luck. Cakes and fruits have a special place on Christmas table. After dinner, Christmas carols are sung, and presents are being unwrapped. Many people attend the Midnight Mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and sing the most beautiful Christmas carol, "Silent Night". The biggest holiday of Christmas is December 25th - the day of the birth of Jesus Christ. Families often stay together, go to church or visit their relatives and friends.


  • money under the tablecloth to ensure the family will have enough money all year long
  • having the candle lit during Christmas Eve as a symbol of Christmas (in Christian families they usually go to the church for "Betlehem light" and thus light a candle there and bring it home)
  • an apple is cut for good luck, which is then cut for the whole family and everyone has to eat it to ensure good luck all year long
  • before Christmas dinner the whole family (usually in Christian families) stands up and pray together
  • tying a chain around the table to keep the family together all year long
  • serving an extra plate on Christmas Eve table, which is prepared for those who could not attend the dinner
  • father of the family makes a cross of honey on all members' heads before dinner