Hello, I wrote about Croatian Christmas that is more connected with religious way of celebration so I voided some customs and wrote mild version text so that no one would be offended.
In Croatia „official“ Christmas Season begins on Christmas Eve. Time before Christmas has been named Advent, where we prepare ourselves for Christmas. Advent starts usually with last/first Sunday on November/December. Through whole Advent time in churches have been served „dawn mass“, mass that starts at 6:00 AM everyday until Christmas. At that time of the year has been the start of Christmas commercials on TV, Christmas songs on radio, and everything that have some connection with Christmas. In Advent we have several minor saints that we celebrate, like: 25.11. St. Katharine, on 4.12. St. Barbara, on 6.12. St. Nicholas, on 13.12. St. Lucia. Every single day have some significance. For example on St. Kate day in old days it was a start of snow season, but now days there is no snow, even for Christmas. On St. Lucia day we seed wheat in small cups that we put under Christmas Tree for Christmas. I think that we all know what we celebrate on St. Nick day.
The center of our celebration is Christmas Eve. How this day would come we feel more joyful, happy and merry. You can feel it on every corner. In stores, at street, at work... People are more polite than usual. It's like that on this time of year people forgot about their problems and push „I'm a human not animal“ button in their heart.
Two or three weeks before Christmas is the time when the Christmas decoration lights are lit on our main town streets, and then people decorate house outdoors. It's not so rich like in USA or other countries but it is nice to see. And yes, I almost forgot, on Advent we make an advent wreath with four candles on it, that represent four Sundays before Christmas and on every Sunday we light up one candle and pray for our families.
Christmas Eve! It's the most joyful and merry day of a year for me. On that day we finish last preparations for Christmas. On that day the last Christmas cookies and other food were baked. We clean our house thoroughly, everything needs to shine and smell like it's a new bought house
. Than we decorate indoor of our houses and the most important thing we put up a Christmas Tree and a manger scene under Tree. That is the final part of decorating the house. Christmas Eve is a fast day and we do not eat meat
So when we have finished with decorations we have a dinner that is usually some fish like a cod-fish or a carp. Then on 22:30 PM bells rings on our church, remonstrate us to begin final preparation to go to church. And when time comes we go, and if there is snowing we go by foot, and if is windy or rain we go by car on Midnight Mass. When we came home from the mass we eat then, everything that is prepared for Christmas Feast. Not too much, just to try some food and cookies. Then we go to sleep.
On Christmas morning when we woke up, we went to saw if Santa or Christkind left us some presents. All day is reserved only for family. We do not go to friend or relatives, we stay at home and enjoy in Christmas Day. Next day, St. Stephen's Day was earmarked for visits and celebrations with our friends etc. Christmas Day was called Christmas Season that last till Epiphany and on that day we undecorated everything indoor and outdoor and that it's the end of 12 Days of Christmas
If you have some questions please ask. And admin please be free to edit my post for grammar of spelling mistakes.