09 January 2012

Macedonians Celebrate Badnik

Badnik - a pagan tradition still remaining.
Orthodox Christians in Macedonia are celebrating Friday the Christmas Eve (Badnik) - the day prior to great holiday the Birth of Jesus Christ – Christmas.
Badnik is traditionally celebrated before "St. Clement of Ohrid" church in Skopje where this year's Badnik godfather will be given the last year's Badnik Cup.The event starts by hoisting Badnik flag and the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan, will address the believers and give the last year’s Badnik Cup to the new godfather.
In Macedonia, celebrations began on 5 January, the evening known as "kolede", in which neighbourhoods gather together to light a bonfire, listen to traditional music and share food and drink.
Badnik table dinner.
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 rich and poor gathered on one place. In the evening on Badnik, the closest family is gathering around the Badnik dinner.
The main event at this dinner is the cutting of the Christmas bread on 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 who ever 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.
More about religion in Macedonia.

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