For all Christians who celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, today is Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
This is the culmination of this intense preparation for Jesus’ coming to earth in the form of the child which started four weeks ago, on the first Sunday of Advent.
People decorate their houses on Christmas Eve. they decorate the Christmas tree, bake cakes. Traditionally, people fast on Christmas Eve and do not eat meat, although the Catholic Church does not consider the fast as mandatory.
The culmination of the preparation for the feast of Christmas will be the Midnight Mass, which is served in all the churches at midnight or more common children’s Midnight Mass at 8 pm for younger believers to experience the Eucharistic celebration of the birth of Jesus with their parents.
Christmas Eve is rich in traditions and folklore events. The highlight of this vigil is a celebration of the Midnight Mass.
Precisely with the vigil is linked the number of customs: entering the wood of the Yule log burning in a fireplace that night and after, then Christmas candles, one or three. Christmas Eve begins in the evening when the family gathers around the table, still with lean meats, and enters the Yule log and straw when, in some regions in BiH, the host welcomes family members with a greeting that announces the imminent Christmas: “Merry Christmas! Well you came Christmas Eve!” After that follows reply: “Together with you!“
Together with Yule-log, host brings the straw as well. Sometimes this straw is not spread only on the ground but also on the table under the tablecloth, and it is followed by dinner with carefully selected dishes.
Christmas Eve in the city has retained only a piece of the rural tradition, but it is celebrated with Christmas tree, home crib, with singing or listening to Christmas songs and with specially prepared dinner. Participation at midnight mass is common to all Catholics in BiH and it shows general awareness of validation of the mystery of Christmas.
We wish a Merry Christmas to all of our readers!