Christmas Eve Dinner~ Serbian style 365-7

Serbian Christmas eve Dinner

I regret that my pics are grainy and poorly done, but at least you get the idea.  Having a child, and carrying anything but my phone along with all her gear is just too much to ask at the moment. So the pics will continue to be poor quality til I have a free hand or more room for the good camera.

Last night was our yummy Christmas eve Dinner. Serbian all the way! Papa had gone out earlier to get our Christmas tree. Not an evergreen. Part of it is on the table embellished with sprigs of wheat in a ceramic vase.

Serbian Christmas Tree

A candle is lit, pieces of the same tree are on the candles plate. Some of the wood is burned in the fire, but a sprig will be kept somewhere around the home for good luck as well.

There is so much done here for luck. But the same word means happiness. So, who is to say if it is or luck, or if it is for happiness. ?

Another tradition/superstition is to leave all the dishes on the table after dinner til the next morning. If you are OCD like mama, that is Midnight. Because that is “morning” and she can’t stand a mess. 🙂 But she waits until midnight to clean. Whatever…. I just go along with it all. It is fun to learn it all, but to be honest. I am not sure how much I will incorporate in my home.

I love the presentation, and most of the food. But the fasting part. eating fish is not for me. I have never liked fish. Sea fish, straight off the boat is about all I can stomach. No river fish. My amazing cook of a husband tries, again and again. but I really don’t like it and it is not for lack of trying.

Our Christmas table as you saw above is loaded with food. Some of the foods have meanings or are placed there for good luck/happiness.

Good luck for the new year.

The beans in the pan are just part of the fasting meal. No animal products and all that jazz. I don’t follow this. If I ate all this fasting food, I would need an enema! TMI but true.

The fruits in the bowl and the walnuts that are hidden under the metal cracker are symbols for a fruitful new year. Another thing done for good luck.

At the very front of the picture is a cup made of dough. Later, wine will be poured inside and it will be taken to our cherry fields for good luck for a prosperous year.

I think a lot of these traditions are left over from the Turkish dominion over Serbia, because it all seems remarkable similar to Asian traditions. or maybe it is because the  trade route from east to west ran through here and still does. Who knows?

Pickled veggies are part of the fasting foods mama sets out. I am not fond of pickled foods, only dill pickles to be honest. But, all this food makes a lovely presentation.

There is a yummy shredded carrot salad and dried peppers stuffed with rice. There are sautéed mushrooms with onions, a bean dish like custard called “bob”, and fermented cabbage sprinkled with paprika. Yep, that cabbage is exactly the same as Kim chi in Korea. Lots of Asian similarities!  Heck, We even take our shoes off at the door here. no joke.

Baked pumpkin and a Serbian (dry) baklava were the deserts, Yummy. The baklava… is not sopping with syrup, but dry and sweet. It’s basic contents are filo dough, sugar,  oil, and ground walnuts. To be honest, it reminded me of a pecan pie. love it!

Last but not least is the home-made bread steeped with meaning.

Christmas Bread

Mama makes this bread every year. Her decorations, remain the same. But this year there are two new little symbols on the cake. One is for our little munchkin and one is for the new little cat, Jerry.

The long with lines on the bread are a symbol of our orchards. The center is a  round table with our family sitting at it. there are little characters for all our animals, our tractor, house, and car. There are other things I don’t recall the meaning of and finally a snake. Aha, a snake for protection. Riddle me that one!

One of the most interesting traditions concerning this bread is, you don’t cut it! You break pieces of it off with your hand and eat it. Total like. I am all about finger food!

As in a fairy tale Christmas Eve, it was snowing last night. This morning here in town, only a light dusting covers the cars. I think there maybe more snow for this magical First Orthodox Christmas for our munchkin in the village. Merry Orthodox Christmas Everyone!


13 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Dinner~ Serbian style 365-7

    • Not late at all! Today is Orthodox Christmas day! (I love having two Christmases!) Merry Christmas to you too even if it isn’t yours. Heck, have another holiday on us! More fun today with the fam. Will post tomorrow! BTW, How is the weather over there? do you speak Tagalo? I always wanted to go to the Philipines. Omigosh, am I annoying yet? lol
      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      • Oh great it’s always wonderful to celebrate Christmas! I kinda’ envy you for having two Christmases. 🙂 The weather here lately is a bit gloomy but humid, sigh!

        Oh and yes I do speak Tagalog, you should visit the Philippines soon. We have a lot of wonderful beaches here. You’ll surely gonna love them. And you’re not annoying! 🙂

        Thanks for the response and for being nice! Will look forward to your next post tomorrow.

    • Thanks! It’s all still kinda new to me. I love learning about the new culture and traditions. Should be more excitement and fun food today. It’s Orthodox Christmas!! Thanks for stopping by! and I love your embroidered lambs. very inspiring.

  1. “I think a lot of these traditions are left over from the Turkish dominion over Serbia, because it all seems remarkable similar to Asian traditions.” – No, they’re prechristian, pagan. Oak was a holy tree among Slavs, and still is today among Serbs and Sorbs. Christmas Eve happens in time when similar celebrations of (correct me if I’m wrong) Slavic god Veles did happen, so these two were merged in one celebration. Food on the table is something to do with Christ’s body, so you don’t toss it away from the table. On the other hand – Turks are Muslims, we didn’t copy their Christmas Eve celebrations 😀

  2. We were just talking about why we leave the plates on the table on Christmas Eve! Nobody seems to know why. And my mother cleans it up at midnight as well.

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