Many students have asked me about the differences between an English and a Slovak Christmas, so I thought I would write a blog about it.
I have had Slovak Christmas probably around 4 or 5 times now.
I have never had Christmas in Prievidza, but in the East of Slovakia, in Michalovce. I now spend one Christmas in England and one Christmas in Slovakia.
Many things in Slovakia are different from my traditional English Christmas so here is how a typical Christmas goes in my family back in England:
We have 3 basic days of Christmas.
24th December - Christmas Eve
25th December - Christmas Day
26th - Boxing Day
Christmas Eve is usually spent preparing for the next day, shopping or even working. In my old job I used to work on Christmas Eve until lunchtime.
On Christmas Day (25th) we wake up in the morning and have a typical breakfast, nothing special. We relax after breakfast and slowly begin to prepare the Christmas dinner. We normally eat:
Gravy - a kind of meat sauce
Preparing the dinner takes a long time. We listen to Christmas music while the dinner is cooking, and our relatives slowly begin to arrive. Some years we cook for around 8 or 10 people.
We eat at around 1.30 or 2pm. Before we eat we pull Christmas crackers. Inside is a small 'firework' that makes a BANG and there is a paper hat and a joke.
After we finish eating, we move into the living room. At 3pm we watch the Queen of England give a speech on the TV. She talks about what has happened that year. It is an old tradition and only takes 15 minutes.
When the Queen has finished talking we can then unwrap our presents. Normally the youngest person in the family puts on a Christmas hat and gives out the presents to everybody.
After the presents, my mum normally plays Christmas songs on her accordion and we play some fun Christmas games.
In the afternoon and evening we relax with some drinks and more food.
I think Christmas Day is more relaxed in England. It's all about having fun and celebrating with your family.
On the 26th is Boxing Day. This is a big day for shopping as there are a lot of sales on.
The shops are FULL on this day, so I normally stay at home in the morning and visit some other friends or family in the afternoon for more food and drinks!
So that's a typical English Christmas for me and my family. This year I will spend Christmas in Slovakia and I am looking forward to fish and potato salad. ;)