Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't be the first to get up from the Christmas Eve dinner table!!

Christmas Eve is a big night for's when we put up our tree, wrap gifts, and prepare and enjoy our Christmas dinner.  It's also connected with a great number of different customs, rules and superstitions - and why wouldn't it be, we're a superstitious bunch!  Very few of these are still observed today, and for good reason.  It must be quite a challenge to put dinner together and go through with it without a mistake if all of the customs were to be followed!  

Here are some of our traditions and superstitions:

  • No lights should be lit in the house before the first star comes out.  After it does, dinner is served.
  • The table should be set for an even number of guests.  An odd number brings bad luck or death.  An extra plate can be used to even out the number of guests.  An extra plate should also be prepared in case an unexpected guest or a person in need comes by the house at dinner time.
  • The legs of the table can be tied with a rope to protect the house from thieves and burglars in the coming year.
  • No one should sit down with their back to the door.
  • Christmas dinner should consist of nine courses including soup, bread with honey, carp, potato salad, fruit (dried, fresh or canned), dessert (apple strudel or vánočka), and other foods.
  • No alcohol should be served on Christmas Eve (gasp!!)
  • No one should ever get up from the Christmas Eve table before dinner is finished.  Doing so brings bad luck and death to the family.
  • Everyone should finish their dinner and leave nothing on the plate.
  • The first person to leave the table after dinner will be the first one to die in the coming year - that is why everyone should get up from the table at the same time.
  • Any leftovers from dinner (crumbs, fishbones, etc.) should be buried around the trees to ensure they will bear lots of fruit.
Apple strudel