Original Blog Post: https://ling-app.com/sl/slovenian-christmas-greetings/
As Christmas is approaching, you must want to learn some most common Slovenian Christmas greetings, right? Well, you are in luck as we will walk you through some unique and important Slovenian traditions and different Christmas greetings used by the locals. If you are ready for that, then let’s get started.
Christmas Traditions In Slovenia
Traditions in Slovenia are unique because most of these might not be present in other cultures. They have their traditional food especially related to Christmas, their unique ways of giving gifts, wishing luck, and overall manner for celebrating this special day.
The most unique yet mesmerizing thing about Slovenian traditions related to Christmas is that they get to have three Santas. Yes, that’s right. They have three different Santa, each assigned for a different day for celebration. These are also called the three good men/ three old men.
Decorations On Christmas
When it comes to Christmas, decorations are important. In Slovenia, people are conscious about decorating their houses on Christmas. The decorations are everywhere, from homes to offices and even the main squares.
In November, the people start adorning the streets with fairy lights and other Christmas essentials. But all of the lights and decorations come into action on 1st December. That is when Slovenians officially began their Christmas celebrations. From the first of December, there are different traditions in Slovenia which take place as a mini celebration for Christmas.
People set up their Christmas trees on Christmas eve and sit down with their families. They also love to go out in mass gatherings with friends and family in which they have caroling etc.
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On Christmas, the people make countless items which they display so that people can buy them. Those items are displayed on different stations, which can be found in all the streets. Those stations are like small cabins made out of wood with proper measures to keep oneself from freezing in the chilly weather.
There are different things which people sell on Christmas in Slovenia. These majorly include woolen socks and gloves, mittens, wooden decorations pieces, keychains, jewelry, food and edibles, and different drinks (especially wine). Sellers have items that people buy even if they don’t necessarily need them since they are on a shopping spree. There is a crowd where people walk and enjoy the lightings and stalls.
Drinking Mulled Wine
One of the most important ways of celebrating Christmas in Slovenia is by preparing and drinking mulled wine. Mulled wine is like a tea made out of wine. It is a unique wine made by heating wine and adding in the cinnamon stick and a slice of tangerine.
Mulled wine is liked by people all over Slovenia. On Christmas, almost everyone seems to hold a cup of mulled wine. Slovenians make it from both red and white wine. By now, you must know one thing about Slovenians that they love homemade items like schnapps. Mulled wine is also like that; it is valued more if made at home.
Celebrating St. Nicholas Day
Once the celebrations for Christmas officially begin on 6th December, St. Nicholas Day takes place. Almost the entire Slovenia celebrates this day. St. Nicholas Day’s eve is like a mini Halloween of Slovenia but in December and a part of Christmas-related traditions.
On this day, countless people dress up in various frightening outfits, generally called Parkelj. It is like the Krampus and tends to scare people away. Different people, especially children, would knock on doors randomly and scare people.
It also gives and takes sweets, which resemble the “trick or treat” on Halloween. Both the evil and good figures are shown on this day. People are dressed up as evil entities but there are also some people who dress up as Saint Nicholas and other religious figures and a Parkelj to scare people.
The households which give importance to their traditional values in Slovenia give gifts and eatables like oranges to the children. They love to celebrate it as a part of Slovenian culture. But still, there are many families who do not celebrate and have completely left this semi-celebration.
Whispering And Listening
Slovenian culture has different mythological folktales and legends and one of those is that on Christmas eve people can predict the future. According to this legend, whatever is said on Christmas might come true. The people whisper about the future and pay close attention to listen for any signs/ messages.
There was a trend of performing rituals on Christmas eve, which could help them know about their future. This tradition has a history in Slovenian culture since witchcraft used to be famous back then. There are different sayings in Slovenian around this as well.
Getting Good Spirits
Many religious people prefer to stay indoors and pray for their future. They try to stay spiritual on Christmas eve and get signs. They believe that going out might lead to a mishap. This is not just about leaving home but also going into others’ homes.
It was thought that if you go to someone’s house on Christmas, you are losing your luck and inviting bad luck to that person’s house. In the past, people used to strictly stay in their homes on Christmas Eve and not go to someone’s house. But now, this tradition has almost ended. Only religious people believe in such things and thus follow these traditions.
Giving Modest Gifts
In Slovenia, people tend to like modest gifts over more expensive gifts. Hand-made/ homemade items are preferred. For example, giving someone cookies in Slovenia is always loved especially when they are made in their homes.
Oranges/ Tangerines are always loved in Slovenia. These are cherished on all the events and festivals of Slovenia, and Christmas is no exception. Giving and receiving tangerines as presents is also very common in Slovenia.
It is believed that anyone can purchase gifts, but the best gifts are those which involve emotions in them. It is better to receive a small gift out of love than a big one without love in Slovenia.
Tepežni Dan/ Tepežnica
Have you ever heard of a tradition in which the children could be whipping adults and even their own parents? Well, welcome to Slovenia. As a part of Christmas-related traditions, Tepežni dan/ Tepežnica is one of the most common and fun ones.
Tepežni dan/ Tepežnica takes place on 28th December. It is a day on which the adults and children wake up early in the morning and get to span adults. The spanking is gentle and just a part of the tradition.
It is considered that if an adult gets spanked by a child on Tepežni dan/ Tepežnica then it boosts their fertility. They tend to have more children if they follow this tradition. It is also thought that getting spanked by children will bring good fortune and success in the coming year.
Slovenian people often fast on December 24th. Right before Christmas, they turn their lifestyle into a slightly modest one. They keep their meals lighter before 24th December and tend to stay away from specific items, especially meat on 24th December.
Fasting is usually continued till Christmas day, and then all the rules are supposed to be broken. On Christmas day, the meal should be lavish to the extent that there is no room for more food on the table. Starting the year with a full table is also known to bring good luck in the coming year.
Between 25 and 30 of December, a live nativity scene is performed in Slovenia in Postojna Cave. Live nativity in Postojna Cave is also called the Christmas Fairytale in Postojna Cave. It is the recreation of the actual/ told nativity scene. There are different performances with all the actors performing the main scenes of the nativity. All the characters are the same as present in the bible.
Everywhere there are glittery decorations, and everything is illuminated. The entire scenario looks even better because of the inside of the cave and the water at some parts of the cave. The entire length of the path on which people walk to see the show is 5 Kilometers.
People in Slovenia go with their entire families to visit the cave and get the best out of their experience. It starts with a train ride for some kilometers. After that, the people start walking and continue walking till they reach the end. The entire cave is set up properly to demonstrate the best scenes, so people stop to watch some particular scenes. The whole walk takes a total of almost one and a half hours.
Christmas Greetings In Slovenian
There are different ways of wishing someone a merry Christmas. One of them is by saying “vesel božič.” Vesel božič literally means Happy Christmas in English. In Slovenian, there are different ways of using the word happy.
While using happy with a hint of congratulations in it, the root word “Srečen” is used. Srečen literally means happy. However, to congratulate someone on specific occasions like days, etc., “vesel” is used. There are different forms of both the root words which can be used.
Here is a table with examples for you to understand the difference:
Let’s make some sentences using vesel božič.
Here are some general greetings which you can definitely use on Christmas day to show someone a nice gesture:
Christmas Vocabulary In Slovenian
Talking about Slovenian Christmas greetings and not knowing the essential words would be awful. To help you with the vocabulary, here is a quick list of all the words you need to know before you wish your loved ones a happy Christmas.
By now, you must wish anyone a merry Christmas in Slovenian and celebrate Christmas like a native Slovenian person. Suppose you liked this blog, then you should check out how to say Happy New Year in Slovenian and Spoken Languages In Slovenia. For more Slovenian lessons, please check out other blogs here on Ling App.
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