Christmas stories seen through children's eyes Christmas in the countries of Europe - Page 17

ancient habit, whose origin is lost in time. In Mani there are beliefs about demonic and other supernatural beings, who come from the Twelve Days of Christ as the Epiphany. These are the goblins and say that they are the descendants God Pan or Satyrs, who jumped from the mythology in the Christian life. Christmas in Slovakia In Slovakia, Christmas celebrations begin with Advent. Many Slovaks are Roman Catholics so this is the start of the important spiritual preparations for Christmas. Slovaks also celebrate St. Nicholas' day on the 6th December. In Slovakia he is known as Svätý Mikuláš. He comes on the evening of the 5th December and gives presents to good children. Young children place their shoes near the door so Svätý Mikuláš can fill them with sweets and fruit. During Advent there are lots of preparations to be made for Christmas. This includes cleaning the house, baking, shopping and buying the Christmas Tree. Carps are also sold on the streets from big tanks (carp is eaten in the main Christmas meal). Christmas Eve is the most important day during Christmas for Slovaks. It is called 'Stedry den' (the Generous Day). The actual evening is called 'Stedry vecer' (the Generous Evening) and the Christmas season is called 'Vianoce'. In Slovakian Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Veselé Vianoce'. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. Slovak Christmas Trees are decorated with colored lights, fruits, hand-made decorations made of wood, baked goods made with honey in the form of Angels and other religious symbols and sweets. Christmas Trees are kept until January 6th, the Feast of the Three Kings (Epiphany). Then the children are allowed to finally eat the candies and other sweets from the tree. Christmas gifts are brought to children by the Ježíško (Baby Jesus). Family gifts are put under the Christmas Tree. A common tradition is that the children have to leave the room when the presents are being brought by Jesus. When they are there a bell is rung. The children then run to the Christmas Tree to try and see the Baby Jesus but they always narrowly miss him! Then the present are opened. Most people open their presents after the main Christmas meal, although some open th ɔѡ䁕