By Nikolin Svetlana
This festive Christmas days in the Balkans, southeast Europe, will be so different than in previous years. Corona pandemic has changed our lives and stuck us all at homes and compelled us to take all safety measures and precautions.
The usual Christmas celebration and all traditions connected with it which are very cheerful and joyful will be spent inside in confines of our houses with a touch of optimism that next year will bring salvation from this pandemic.
Whatever the Christmas celebration may look like there is one item which has to be on each and every table – special Christmas bread with its delicious flavour and symbolic decorations. In different regions of the Balkans it is made in different ways – it can be sweet or salty, with additions of olive oil or butter, milk or orange juice, lemon and orange rinds, mastic, nuts and dried fruits. In Romania it is called Cozonac, in Bulgaria – Koledna Pitka, in Greece – Christopsomo, in Serbia – Chesnica, in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Pogacha, in North Macedonia – Koledni Leb but in all regions of the Balkans it is always present when all family is around the festive table and when the eldest member of the family will cut it during the Christmas Eve dinner and give a piece of it to everybody as a symbolic representation of the Biblical Holy Communion.
Usually the women who make it put a coin in it and whoever finds it in their piece is believed will have lots of luck in the coming year.
Making this festive Christmas bread is a nice centuries old tradition which gives that unique festive atmosphere in each household on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Nowadays different Christmas breads can be found in bakeries and supermarkets but as always, homemade Christmas bread tastes the best. HAPPY CHRISTMAS with prayers for better days in the coming year to all my Christian friends.
pictures sources: Google
journalist/ editor in chief monthly news paper ‘Trgoprodukt’ (1982-1990)
freelance journalist from1990
editor in chief – non profit
intercultural magazin “XXI Century” (2006-2016)
independent researcher on intercultural dialogue, minorities and small ethnic communities of the Balkans (Banat Bulgarians, Aromanians)
specialised ”XXI Century” magazine editions:
”Palchens in Banat”
”Aromanians of Pancevo city”
Aegeo (Egej) travel book
‘Small anthology of Aromanian poetry’
‘ Aromanian old songs’
‘Aromanians in south Banat’/project book)
‘The nomads of the Balkans’ -(translation project book)
coordinator in NGO”In Medias Res” department for small ethnic communities and intercultural dialogue ( from 2006 to 2016)