Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Bosnia and Herzegovina

December, the month of holidays has officialy arrived but why are the holidays so important for people nowadays? I would say, that they are a break from the monotony of every day life, and celebration of things that are worth living for. When we talk about holidays in BIH, in my country l can say that l’am really proud of our heritage, BIH is a multireligious and multicultural country, so we celebrate a lot of holidays like Bajram,  Catholic Christmas and Orthodox Christmas, Hanuka, and Đurđev Day (Đurđevdan).

The period of love, peace and family
Also l have to mention, that the way how we are celebrating this religious holidays, depends of the family tradition, or the heritage they have. Some citizens of BIH celebrate Catholic Christmas, and the preparation for this holiday starts in the beginning of December. Most people in BIH calls this period, a period of love, peace, giving, and family gathering. Really important thing before Chirstmas day is Badnjak, at Badnjak most people are fasting, and during the day, they prepare food for Badnjak dinner, usually they make some fish like bakalar, and bake some bread. Before the dinner, in BIH Ponoćka is really important, Ponoćka is chruch mass the religious rite, and after that usually people go home and have traditional family dinner, and give some gifts, which means Christmas day has officialy arrived. Christmas day is usually spend with family, neighbors, with a lot of food, cakes, and lunches, also people talk a lot with each other, or they sing some famous Christmas songs.

 I think that point, the meaning of all holidays, it dosen’t matter which religion you are is to spend it with our family, persons who you love, and share happines with, and l think that this is the way how we are celebrating holidays in my country. Christmas Eve in front of Cathedral in Sarajevo

New Year’s Eve: When we talk about New Year’s Eve it is also similar to the celebration of other holidays, young people mostly spend New Year’s Eve outside of family house, with their friends in some clubs, mountains, or they go to vacation in another city or country. In the capital city of BIH Sarajevo, we already have some New Year’s Eve tradition, and a lot of tourists come to visit Sarajevo, usually there is a singer or band in the city center playing, and there is countdown to announce New Year, also we have this in another big cities. After all of this holidays, people, citizens of BIH they continue with their every day lifes, and wait for another holidays to come. l must say that l am really proud of the religiuos heritage in my country, and the mixs of cultures and habits that we have.

“Once again, welcome to the Holiday Season, a deeply religiuos time that each of us observes in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice”. (Dave Berry)

Happy Holidays to all!!

Fatima Mahmutović

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