Macedonians celebrate Christimas Eve – Badnik
Friday, 06 January 2017

Orthodox Christians in Macedonia celebrate Friday Christmas Eve (Badnik) – the day prior to great holiday the Birth of Jesus Christ – Christmas.

Badnik is traditionally celebrated in front of "St. Clement of Ohrid” church in Skopje, where this year’s Badnik godfather Radko Manov will be given last year’s Badnik Cup.

The event starts by hoisting the Badnik flag, while Pontiff of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan, will address the faithful and give last year’s Badnik Cup to the new godfather.

In Macedonia, celebrations began on January 5, the evening known as “Kolede”, in which neighbourhoods gather together to light a bonfire, listen to traditional music and share food and drink.

This morning children visit their neighbourhood, knock at the doors and sing Kolede songs. The home-owners give the children candies, sweets, fruit and coins.

The family dinner on Badnik is the only holiday when you can find the rich and the poor gathered in one place.

The main event at this dinner is the cutting of the Christmas bread in pieces for each member of the family, one for the home and one for Jesus Christ. Inside the Christmas Bread there is a coin. There is a belief that whoever finds the coin in his/her piece of the bread will have luck the whole year. The coin is put in a glass of wine and the lucky person should drink from the wine.

The house is decorated with oak branches with their leaves on, representing the wish of the family for long and healthy life.


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