Christmas customs in Kajkavian region

A hundred years ago, in most homes in this area, one of the customs was to clean up before Christmas. The whole family was involved in it, and it was taken much more seriously and with responsibility. Especially interesting were food-related customs. On the feast day it was unavoidable to have a turkey with flatbread, and for dessert, in many homes, it was obligatory to have „Orehnjača, Croatian traditional sweet cake with grated walnuts. Ornaments that were put on the Christmas tree were much less modest than today. People bought decorative candies. Children were happy to get an apple as a gift. In the Zagorje region, there wasn’t a strong tradition of giving presents. At Christmas, it was not good to invite someone because it is a family holiday and nobody did any physical jobs during that period. These two weeks were devoted to a family. Almost everyone had at least one Štef in the family and on the 26th of December, on „Štefanje“, friends and families celebrated that name by visiting their beloved ones.

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