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Mikulas tradition

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  • darlenbaker@cs.com
    Hi all !1 thought you would enjoy this: It is from my friend Petr in the CR. Darlene We celebrate Mikulas today. Have you ever heard about him? It`s a long
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 5, 2000
      Hi all !1 thought you would enjoy this:
      It is from my friend Petr in the CR.


      Darlene


      We celebrate "Mikulas" today. Have you ever heard about him?
      It`s a long time tradition in the CR. Once upon a time were 3 sisters
      which wanted to get married. They were very poor and hadn`t money for
      a wedding. Mikulas was a very kind man in their village and he gave 3
      grouch-bags full of money outside a window in the evening. Small childern
      believe that he walks and gives some stuff every evening on 6. december.
      Mostly candies and chocolate. He`s gotten at a dream element and that`s
      why an angel and a devil comes with him. The devil is for a tiresome child
      and the angel for a kind one.
    • CShep10511@aol.com
      Thanks for this info. My mother tells exactly this same story of this tradition that was still celebrated as she was a child. Too bad some of these
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 5, 2000
        Thanks for this info.  My mother tells exactly this same story of this
        tradition that was still celebrated  as she was a child.  Too bad some of
        these wonderful traditions had not been continued with the 2nd and 3rd
        generation Czech-Americans.

        I am happy to say we have continued to celebrate a European Christmas and
        Santa comes on our house on Christmas Eve. We also continue the tradition of
        having a fish fry (ryby) on Christmas Eve as do many of our Czech family in
        Europe.

        Happy Holidays.

        Connie
      • Loretta and David
        The tradition of  Svaty Mikulas   St. Nicholas Day  had been observed by our family up throught the 1950 s. It was on the eve of  the 6th of December, 
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 5, 2000
          The tradition of  " Svaty Mikulas"  St. Nicholas Day  had been observed by our family up throught the 1950's. It was on the eve of  the 6th of December,  which the feast of St. Nicholas on the Roman Catholic Canlender. On this evening all the children would set out a plate with cookies, nuts, an apple one orange and a glass of milk. Usually any gift which we thought St. Nick might like. We would pray that St. Nicholas would visit our home and find in his heart that we were good boys and girls and repay us with small gifts. That morning we always got up early to see the what he had left for us. In some cases if we had misbehaved the day before we often found a  small limb from a peach or plum tree with a pretty red bow (a switch) but we were never so bad that we did not receive any goodies on our plate.

          The next holy day was December 8, The feast of the Immaculate Conception, this also was a day when we awaited the coming of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this date we would receive articles such as Holy Cards, a rosary, maybe a prayerbook, etc.....

          The tradition of fish for Christmas Eve. Is this a tradition orginated in the Czech lands or is based on tradition of the Roman Catholic Church? Those that remember when we Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Friday, we were also to fast from meat on the eve of every Holy Day. This was a law of the Church. I'm not sure but some of the other denominations also observed this practice. This was our fish day or vegetable soup etc.... We ate fish on Friday and also on the eve of Holydays and Ash Wednesday. I wonder if this tradition of eating fish did not evolve from this practice?

          Here is another tradition someone out there might remember. On Christmas Eve day if you eat you will not see the "Golden Pig" Has anyone out there remember seeing the golden pig. Does anyone remember what had to be done and why? I know that we always had to fast so many hours before receiving Holy Communion. On Christmas Eve we always went to Midnite Mass and received Holy Communion. We always ate a evening meal that day, and Grandma always placed a little money under her plate for good luck, so in order to receive communion at midnite mass we had to abstain from food the remainder of the evening until midnite. With so many goodies around it was very difficult for the young ones to stay out of the kitchen. My reasoning is that we were promised to see the Golden Pig, if we did not snack on goodies before midnite Mass so we could receive Communion. Why a Golden Pig? Beats me. Anyone out there have the answer?

          David B.
           
           
           
           

          CShep10511@... wrote:

          Thanks for this info.  My mother tells exactly this same story of this
          tradition that was still celebrated  as she was a child.  Too bad some of
          these wonderful traditions had not been continued with the 2nd and 3rd
          generation Czech-Americans.

          I am happy to say we have continued to celebrate a European Christmas and
          Santa comes on our house on Christmas Eve. We also continue the tradition of
          having a fish fry (ryby) on Christmas Eve as do many of our Czech family in
          Europe.

          Happy Holidays.

          Connie

          To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
           
           

        • CShep10511@aol.com
          My Mother said they used to up their shoes just outside the door hoping for Saint Mikulas to leave them a special treat. This was usually fruit and nuts. She
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 6, 2000
            My Mother said they used to up their shoes just outside the door hoping for
            Saint Mikulas to leave them a special treat. This was usually fruit and nuts.
            She said this was almost more important than Christmas.

            Connie

            Researching: HEJL, HOLUB, MENSIK AND NORS
          • Lois Petter Pereira
            I grew up with Mikulas but not this story. I wonder if it has to do with what religion you are. I am attaching the story of Mikulas that my mother was told by
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
              I grew up with Mikulas but not this story. I wonder if it has to do with what religion you are. I am attaching the story of Mikulas that my mother was told by her mother.
               

              December 6, the Feast of Saint Nickolas
              by Olga Susil Petter Jankowiak
               

               This Saint Nickolas was a much revered saint of the Czech people.  My
              parents told us of the custom of four people in different dress who went from house
              to house. One was Saint Nickolas, one an angel, one the devil and the fourth I do not
              remember. On the eve of St. Nickolas these people would call on people of the parish
              that had children living there.

               Usually the mothers prepared the evening meal early so that the children
              would be fed and then dressed neatly for St. Nickolas’ visit.  As a child Mama said
              she was always so afraid waiting for a knock on the door.  Her father let the strange
              people in.  First came  St. Nickolas followed by the Angel dressed in a beautiful
              white robe with a golden halo over his head, then the devil marched in dressed all in
              black rattling chains and making eerie noises.  The children stood in line and one by
              one approached St. Nickolas.  He asked them to recite the Our Father, Hail Mary,
              etc.  When each child was finished they received a blessing and were told to place
              empty bowls on the table.  The next morning they awoke and ran to see each bowl
              filled with nuts, candy and fruit.

                Daddy told me his story regarding this feast. There was a boy in the
              neighborhood who was around 12 years old.  He got a big kick out of teasing the
              younger children about how foolish they were to believe in St. Nickolas.  That St.
              Nickolas was only a man dressed like him and the devil is a big joke too. He said he
              for one wouldn’t be scared of him.  Daddy, being one of the smaller children, told
              his father of this boy boasting of not being afraid of the devil.  My grandfather told
              the boy’s father about it so they arranged to meet at my daddy’s house.  When they
              came the boy still said he was not afraid and just then there was  a knock at the
              door.  It opens and the devil came in first and says to the boy “What’s this I hear
              you are so brave and not afraid of me?  See these chains?”  The boy was horrified
              and fell on his knees before the devil and pleaded “Holy devil, I was only joking. I
              won’t say it any more, please, don’t hit me with your chains”. Daddy said it really
              taught the boy a lesson and he never teased anyone again.
               

              darlenbaker@... wrote:

              Hi all !1 thought you would enjoy this:
              It is from my friend Petr in the CR.
               

              Darlene
               

              We celebrate "Mikulas" today. Have you ever heard about him?
              It`s a long time tradition in the CR. Once upon a time were 3 sisters
              which wanted to get married. They were very poor and hadn`t money for
              a wedding. Mikulas was a very kind man in their village and he gave 3
              grouch-bags full of money outside a window in the evening. Small childern
              believe that he walks and gives some stuff every evening on 6. december.
              Mostly candies and chocolate. He`s gotten at a dream element and that`s
              why an angel and a devil comes with him. The devil is for a tiresome child
              and the angel for a kind one.


              To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
               
               

              --
              Lois Petter Pereira
              Researching Ahlhorn, Bokemeyer, Brdusik, Bruntrig, Cordes, Filges, Francis, Garney, Gebauer, Hadac, Hadash, Halla, Hauser, Hoelschel, Kaskie, Maciejeski, Manak, Nauger, Ollre, Orsag, Orsak, Otjen, Papiz, Pavlik, Pereira, Petter, Polasek, Pratka, Psencik, Rada, Rohan, Sablatura, Schaub, Schroeder, Slovack, Susil, Tiemann, Urban, Weiser
               

            • Lois Petter Pereira
              We also continue the European tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve. We all gather at Mom s house and do it as a family. We don t have ryba any more
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
                We also continue the European tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve. We all gather at Mom's house and do it as a family. We don't have ryba any more but a feast of finger foods, sandwiches from ham or turkey and every kind of dessert on earth. This is to prolong the torment of the little ones itching to open the presents. We eat, then we kneel down and pray in front of the tree for people who we have lost or who are not able to be with us. Now, at my house we open gifts Christmas morning. I could not change my husband's mind to do it the right away. After 31 years I guess I never will. I am glad to hear other people are continuing the tradition. I think that is why I like to do genealogy so much because it is a way to pay respect to those who have walked before me. Lois Petter Pereira
                 

                CShep10511@... wrote:

                Thanks for this info.  My mother tells exactly this same story of this
                tradition that was still celebrated  as she was a child.  Too bad some of
                these wonderful traditions had not been continued with the 2nd and 3rd
                generation Czech-Americans.

                I am happy to say we have continued to celebrate a European Christmas and
                Santa comes on our house on Christmas Eve. We also continue the tradition of
                having a fish fry (ryby) on Christmas Eve as do many of our Czech family in
                Europe.

                Happy Holidays.

                Connie

                To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                 
                 

                --
                Lois Petter Pereira
                Researching Ahlhorn, Bokemeyer, Brdusik, Bruntrig, Cordes, Filges, Francis, Garney, Gebauer, Hadac, Hadash, Halla, Hauser, Hoelschel, Kaskie, Maciejeski, Manak, Nauger, Ollre, Orsag, Orsak, Otjen, Papiz, Pavlik, Pereira, Petter, Polasek, Pratka, Psencik, Rada, Rohan, Sablatura, Schaub, Schroeder, Slovack, Susil, Tiemann, Urban, Weiser
                 

              • Lois Petter Pereira
                For years I thought it was basically a Catholic thing. We couldn t eat meat therefore we ate fish but since I ve gotten involved with this egroups and Czech
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
                  For years I thought it was basically a Catholic thing. We couldn't eat meat therefore we ate fish but since I've gotten involved with this egroups and Czech Cultural Center I find this is not true. The Czechs hold carp dear to their heart. Also it is not the same trash fish, carp that we know, they even have farms to raise them. Every year I go to the CCC and buy a new hand blown ornament from the CR. This past Sept I bought one and it was a carp. It also had something to do with good luck. I don't remember having fish on Christmas Eve but our situation was different. My father died when I was very young so my mohter was a widow with 3 young children. Fish to us was classified as meat and we only had it when we went fishing. Meat was served sparingly since we always had a large garden and we all liked vegetables. See it is good to be poor because we never got all that fat in our diet. Of course now it is too much fat. I am enclosing a story my mother wrote about her Christmas. Mom was born in America.
                   

                  CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
                  by Olga Susil Petter Jankowiak

                   Christmas at our house was always the most celebrated holiday of the year.
                  Beginning with the first day of advent Mama would dress us for church in somber clothes
                  in keeping with the solemn occasion that preceded the joyful one, the birth of baby Jesus.
                  I do not remember having an advent wreath but I do remember the whole family knelt
                  praying the rosary every night. This was a spiritual part that lasted the length of Advent.

                   The preparation of the Christmas feast started a week before Christmas. First my
                  brothers and Dad went deep into the woods in search of a tree. There were many trees to
                  choose from, but it must be just right, therefore it took a long time. At the same time they
                  searched for a tree they would stop under a large pecan tree and gather nuts. Sometimes it
                  was a huge sack full. They were to be used for the Christmas baking. The tree was not cut
                  that day in order for it to keep it’s wonderful scent it was usually cut a few days later.

                   Then came the pecan peeling party where neighbors gathered each night and
                  peeled pecans so that chore was quickly done. It was fun especially for the youngsters
                  since mama made us hot chocolate along with her many varieties of cookies. The adults
                  had hot tea and I believe the men had a drink or two of dad’s whiskey (which he brewed
                  but never drank except for medicinal purposes).

                   The next day the baking started. Mama and the older girls would prepare the fruits
                  that were put in the fruit cakes. There were usually six huge ones. Each one was carefully
                  wrapped in cheesecloth that had been soaked in rum and then tightly wrapped in brown
                  paper. The cakes were then stored in a cool place. Next came the strudels. Mama sent dad
                  to town with the shopping list that included a crate of apples and a crate of oranges. The
                  paring of apples was done by mama and the big girls. Being the baby of the family  I
                  always felt cheated but was told I could help when I was older. After the strudels were
                  baked it was time to bake kolaches. Dozens of sausage ones (klobasniks), prune, poppy
                  seed and cottage cheese but I can’t say I had a favorite since I liked them all. They too had
                  to be done on a large scale since there were seven children and mom and dad plus the
                  many neighbors who dropped in.  After the kolaches were baked, cooled and put away
                  there were still a few days left for Mama to get our clothes ready. I was lucky I had a new
                  dress every year, being small, it cost less to buy material.

                   Then came Christmas eve day, which to me seemed like the longest day of the
                  year. All kinds of aromas coming from the kitchen, except for one that I hated, that was
                  caraway seed soup. To this day I will not eat it. When all the food was prepared and our
                  best tablecloth laid. We set out our Sunday dishes and then it was time to go on the front
                  porch and wait for the first star to appear. Absolutely no one ate before the first star, ever.
                  I think it was a custom that was followed in Czechoslovakia and my parents kept it in
                  America.  Once the star appeared we went inside to eat. The food was brought in. There
                  was soup, cheese, bread et cetera but no meat. Meat was not allowed until after midnight
                  when the fast ended. Next came platters of all the baked treats that the table could hold.
                  The last thing placed in the center of the table was a big bowl of apples. The blessing was
                  said and all sat down to eat. I never ate much I was too excited thinking of the presents
                  under the tree.
                   
                   The meal dragged on endlessly and just when I thought everyone was through my
                  older brother would reach for a second helping and grin at me since he knew I was
                  impatient to open the presents.  Once the meal was finally over we were each given an
                  apple and told to cut it in half. If the cut apple formed a star in the center you would live
                  another year. I remember always being glad my apple formed a star after Dad cut it. It
                  wasn’t until years later that I learned it depended on how the apple was cut whether there
                  was a star or not.

                    The meal having officially ended we waited for a tiny bell to ring. Dad
                  usually slipped away and rang the bell that was a signal that baby Jesus had gone and left
                  the gifts under the tree. We did not believe in Santa Claus because Mama said that was a
                  pagan custom. Upon hearing the bell we walked into the room and saw the Christmas tree
                  for the first time. (Mama and Dad decorated the tree secretly the day before and kept the
                  door locked.) Candles lit the tree, many beautiful ornaments, strings of popped corn and
                  tinsel , all the tree could hold. I wish I could have only one of the beautiful ornaments
                  today. I can still see it all. When all were in the room , we knelt in prayer offered for all
                  the departed members of the family. Then carols were sung in Czech and finally we would
                  open our gifts.  When we were through with the gifts we went back to the table for hot tea
                  and more snacks. We sat around until it was time to dress for Midnight Mass. We all
                  bundled up in our Model T ford and off we went.

                  Loretta and David wrote:

                  The tradition of  " Svaty Mikulas"  St. Nicholas Day  had been observed by our family up throught the 1950's. It was on the eve of  the 6th of December,  which the feast of St. Nicholas on the Roman Catholic Canlender. On this evening all the children would set out a plate with cookies, nuts, an apple one orange and a glass of milk. Usually any gift which we thought St. Nick might like. We would pray that St. Nicholas would visit our home and find in his heart that we were good boys and girls and repay us with small gifts. That morning we always got up early to see the what he had left for us. In some cases if we had misbehaved the day before we often found a  small limb from a peach or plum tree with a pretty red bow (a switch) but we were never so bad that we did not receive any goodies on our plate.

                  The next holy day was December 8, The feast of the Immaculate Conception, this also was a day when we awaited the coming of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this date we would receive articles such as Holy Cards, a rosary, maybe a prayerbook, etc.....

                  The tradition of fish for Christmas Eve. Is this a tradition orginated in the Czech lands or is based on tradition of the Roman Catholic Church? Those that remember when we Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Friday, we were also to fast from meat on the eve of every Holy Day. This was a law of the Church. I'm not sure but some of the other denominations also observed this practice. This was our fish day or vegetable soup etc.... We ate fish on Friday and also on the eve of Holydays and Ash Wednesday. I wonder if this tradition of eating fish did not evolve from this practice?

                  Here is another tradition someone out there might remember. On Christmas Eve day if you eat you will not see the "Golden Pig" Has anyone out there remember seeing the golden pig. Does anyone remember what had to be done and why? I know that we always had to fast so many hours before receiving Holy Communion. On Christmas Eve we always went to Midnite Mass and received Holy Communion. We always ate a evening meal that day, and Grandma always placed a little money under her plate for good luck, so in order to receive communion at midnite mass we had to abstain from food the remainder of the evening until midnite. With so many goodies around it was very difficult for the young ones to stay out of the kitchen. My reasoning is that we were promised to see the Golden Pig, if we did not snack on goodies before midnite Mass so we could receive Communion. Why a Golden Pig? Beats me. Anyone out there have the answer?

                  David B.
                   
                   
                   
                   

                  CShep10511@... wrote:

                  Thanks for this info.  My mother tells exactly this same story of this
                  tradition that was still celebrated  as she was a child.  Too bad some of
                  these wonderful traditions had not been continued with the 2nd and 3rd
                  generation Czech-Americans.

                  I am happy to say we have continued to celebrate a European Christmas and
                  Santa comes on our house on Christmas Eve. We also continue the tradition of
                  having a fish fry (ryby) on Christmas Eve as do many of our Czech family in
                  Europe.

                  Happy Holidays.

                  Connie

                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                   
                   

                  --
                  Lois Petter Pereira
                  Researching Ahlhorn, Bokemeyer, Brdusik, Bruntrig, Cordes, Filges, Francis, Garney, Gebauer, Hadac, Hadash, Halla, Hauser, Hoelschel, Kaskie, Maciejeski, Manak, Nauger, Ollre, Orsag, Orsak, Otjen, Papiz, Pavlik, Pereira, Petter, Polasek, Pratka, Psencik, Rada, Rohan, Sablatura, Schaub, Schroeder, Slovack, Susil, Tiemann, Urban, Weiser
                   

                • Lois Petter Pereira
                  Here again I find it strange the way people celebrate. One of my aunts always used shoes, she was born in the CR, but the rest of the family used bowls. I
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
                    Here again I find it strange the way people celebrate. One of my aunts always used shoes, she was born in the CR, but the rest of the family used bowls. I can't say that it was only the ones born in America that used the bowls because that is not the case. I think we used bowls because my mother would never let us put anything in our mouths that was left in our shoes. It wouldn't matter if it was wrapped twenty times. I guess mom knew how grubby we were. It was only this week when my aunt came to visit me after my operation that we were sitting around (eating kolaches and drinking coffee) that this subject came up. Her great granddaughter and my granddaughter go to St. Ambrose School in Houston. Their teacher, Sr. Lucy read them the story of St. Nicholas and told them to put their shoes out. My granddaughter is used to putting out a bowl so she knew this wouldn't work but she also didn't make the connection between Mikulas and St. Nicholas. She is only 5. I know Rick Garza spent some time recently with his parents and relatives discussing genealogy and of course the stories behind the people. I am extremely close to my aunts and I was shocked that the shoe versus the bowl came up. I have been doing genealogy over 20 years and I thought I knew everything about the family and traditions. This just opened my eyes and deflated my head. Everyone needs to start a journal and start writing these things down. My family thought I was nuts to worry about dead people or who cares about someone you never met. Now all of a sudden all my nieces and nephews ask me about new information I have found out. My brothers are coming around too. Now they see that one day they will be the dead people and if they get this stuff written down their grandchildren and greatgrandchildren will know them, even if it is through words....lois    

                    CShep10511@... wrote:

                    My Mother said they used to up their shoes just outside the door hoping for
                    Saint Mikulas to leave them a special treat. This was usually fruit and nuts.
                    She said this was almost more important than Christmas.

                    Connie

                    Researching: HEJL, HOLUB, MENSIK AND NORS

                    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                     
                     

                    --
                    Lois Petter Pereira
                    Researching Ahlhorn, Bokemeyer, Brdusik, Bruntrig, Cordes, Filges, Francis, Garney, Gebauer, Hadac, Hadash, Halla, Hauser, Hoelschel, Kaskie, Maciejeski, Manak, Nauger, Ollre, Orsag, Orsak, Otjen, Papiz, Pavlik, Pereira, Petter, Polasek, Pratka, Psencik, Rada, Rohan, Sablatura, Schaub, Schroeder, Slovack, Susil, Tiemann, Urban, Weiser
                     

                  • kotrlarj@juno.com
                    Lois: Thanks for sharing your memories. Other listers, please share your stories about Christmas traditions, and just your own Czech Christmases. Thanks,
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
                      Lois:

                      Thanks for sharing your memories.

                      Other listers, please share your stories about Christmas
                      traditions, and just your own Czech Christmases.

                      Thanks,

                      Richard

                      --- In texasczechs@egroups.com, Lois Petter Pereira <epereira@s...>
                      wrote:
                      > Here again I find it strange the way people celebrate. One of my
                      aunts
                      > always used shoes, she was born in the CR, but the rest of the
                      family
                      > used bowls. I can't say that it was only the ones born in America
                      that
                      > used the bowls because that is not the case. I think we used bowls
                      > because my mother would never let us put anything in our mouths that
                      was
                      > left in our shoes. It wouldn't matter if it was wrapped twenty
                      times. I
                      > guess mom knew how grubby we were. It was only this week when my
                      aunt
                      > came to visit me after my operation that we were sitting around
                      (eating
                      > kolaches and drinking coffee) that this subject came up. Her great
                      > granddaughter and my granddaughter go to St. Ambrose School in
                      Houston.
                      > Their teacher, Sr. Lucy read them the story of St. Nicholas and told
                      > them to put their shoes out. My granddaughter is used to putting out
                      a
                      > bowl so she knew this wouldn't work but she also didn't make the
                      > connection between Mikulas and St. Nicholas. She is only 5. I know
                      Rick
                      > Garza spent some time recently with his parents and relatives
                      discussing
                      > genealogy and of course the stories behind the people. I am
                      extremely
                      > close to my aunts and I was shocked that the shoe versus the bowl
                      came
                      > up. I have been doing genealogy over 20 years and I thought I knew
                      > everything about the family and traditions. This just opened my eyes
                      and
                      > deflated my head. Everyone needs to start a journal and start
                      writing
                      > these things down. My family thought I was nuts to worry about dead
                      > people or who cares about someone you never met. Now all of a sudden
                      all
                      > my nieces and nephews ask me about new information I have found out.
                      My
                      > brothers are coming around too. Now they see that one day they will
                      be
                      > the dead people and if they get this stuff written down their
                      > grandchildren and greatgrandchildren will know them, even if it is
                      > through words....lois
                      >
                      > CShep10511@a... wrote:
                      >
                      > > My Mother said they used to up their shoes just outside the door
                      > > hoping for
                      > > Saint Mikulas to leave them a special treat. This was usually
                      fruit
                      > > and nuts.
                      > > She said this was almost more important than Christmas.
                      > >
                      > > Connie
                      > >
                      > > Researching: HEJL, HOLUB, MENSIK AND NORS
                      > > eGroups Sponsor
                      > [Find Your Ancestors!]
                      > >
                      > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > > texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > --
                      > Lois Petter Pereira
                      > Researching Ahlhorn, Bokemeyer, Brdusik, Bruntrig, Cordes, Filges,
                      > Francis, Garney, Gebauer, Hadac, Hadash, Halla, Hauser, Hoelschel,
                      > Kaskie, Maciejeski, Manak, Nauger, Ollre, Orsag, Orsak, Otjen,
                      Papiz,
                      > Pavlik, Pereira, Petter, Polasek, Pratka, Psencik, Rada, Rohan,
                      > Sablatura, Schaub, Schroeder, Slovack, Susil, Tiemann, Urban, Weiser
                    • kotrlarj@juno.com
                      Lois, How awessome for you to share this with us. We want more, from you and others. Richard ... eat ... Czechs ... carp ... the ... situation ... a ... we ...
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
                        Lois,

                        How awessome for you to share this with us.

                        We want more, from you and others.

                        Richard

                        --- In texasczechs@egroups.com, Lois Petter Pereira <epereira@s...>
                        wrote:
                        > For years I thought it was basically a Catholic thing. We couldn't
                        eat
                        > meat therefore we ate fish but since I've gotten involved with this
                        > egroups and Czech Cultural Center I find this is not true. The
                        Czechs
                        > hold carp dear to their heart. Also it is not the same trash fish,
                        carp
                        > that we know, they even have farms to raise them. Every year I go to
                        the
                        > CCC and buy a new hand blown ornament from the CR. This past Sept I
                        > bought one and it was a carp. It also had something to do with good
                        > luck. I don't remember having fish on Christmas Eve but our
                        situation
                        > was different. My father died when I was very young so my mohter was
                        a
                        > widow with 3 young children. Fish to us was classified as meat and
                        we
                        > only had it when we went fishing. Meat was served sparingly since we
                        > always had a large garden and we all liked vegetables. See it is
                        good to
                        > be poor because we never got all that fat in our diet. Of course now
                        it
                        > is too much fat. I am enclosing a story my mother wrote about her
                        > Christmas. Mom was born in America.
                        >
                        >
                        > CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
                        > by Olga Susil Petter Jankowiak
                        >
                        > Christmas at our house was always the most celebrated holiday of
                        the
                        > year.
                        > Beginning with the first day of advent Mama would dress us for
                        church in
                        > somber clothes
                        > in keeping with the solemn occasion that preceded the joyful one,
                        the
                        > birth of baby Jesus.
                        > I do not remember having an advent wreath but I do remember the
                        whole
                        > family knelt
                        > praying the rosary every night. This was a spiritual part that
                        lasted
                        > the length of Advent.
                        >
                        > The preparation of the Christmas feast started a week before
                        Christmas.
                        > First my
                        > brothers and Dad went deep into the woods in search of a tree. There
                        > were many trees to
                        > choose from, but it must be just right, therefore it took a long
                        time.
                        > At the same time they
                        > searched for a tree they would stop under a large pecan tree and
                        gather
                        > nuts. Sometimes it
                        > was a huge sack full. They were to be used for the Christmas baking.
                        The
                        > tree was not cut
                        > that day in order for it to keep it's wonderful scent it was usually
                        cut
                        > a few days later.
                        >
                        > Then came the pecan peeling party where neighbors gathered each
                        night
                        > and
                        > peeled pecans so that chore was quickly done. It was fun especially
                        for
                        > the youngsters
                        > since mama made us hot chocolate along with her many varieties of
                        > cookies. The adults
                        > had hot tea and I believe the men had a drink or two of dad's
                        whiskey
                        > (which he brewed
                        > but never drank except for medicinal purposes).
                        >
                        > The next day the baking started. Mama and the older girls would
                        prepare
                        > the fruits
                        > that were put in the fruit cakes. There were usually six huge ones.
                        Each
                        > one was carefully
                        > wrapped in cheesecloth that had been soaked in rum and then tightly
                        > wrapped in brown
                        > paper. The cakes were then stored in a cool place. Next came the
                        > strudels. Mama sent dad
                        > to town with the shopping list that included a crate of apples and a
                        > crate of oranges. The
                        > paring of apples was done by mama and the big girls. Being the baby
                        of
                        > the family I
                        > always felt cheated but was told I could help when I was older.
                        After
                        > the strudels were
                        > baked it was time to bake kolaches. Dozens of sausage ones
                        (klobasniks),
                        > prune, poppy
                        > seed and cottage cheese but I can't say I had a favorite since I
                        liked
                        > them all. They too had
                        > to be done on a large scale since there were seven children and mom
                        and
                        > dad plus the
                        > many neighbors who dropped in. After the kolaches were baked,
                        cooled
                        > and put away
                        > there were still a few days left for Mama to get our clothes ready.
                        I
                        > was lucky I had a new
                        > dress every year, being small, it cost less to buy material.
                        >
                        > Then came Christmas eve day, which to me seemed like the longest
                        day of
                        > the
                        > year. All kinds of aromas coming from the kitchen, except for one
                        that I
                        > hated, that was
                        > caraway seed soup. To this day I will not eat it. When all the food
                        was
                        > prepared and our
                        > best tablecloth laid. We set out our Sunday dishes and then it was
                        time
                        > to go on the front
                        > porch and wait for the first star to appear. Absolutely no one ate
                        > before the first star, ever.
                        > I think it was a custom that was followed in Czechoslovakia and my
                        > parents kept it in
                        > America. Once the star appeared we went inside to eat. The food was
                        > brought in. There
                        > was soup, cheese, bread et cetera but no meat. Meat was not allowed
                        > until after midnight
                        > when the fast ended. Next came platters of all the baked treats that
                        the
                        > table could hold.
                        > The last thing placed in the center of the table was a big bowl of
                        > apples. The blessing was
                        > said and all sat down to eat. I never ate much I was too excited
                        > thinking of the presents
                        > under the tree.
                        >
                        > The meal dragged on endlessly and just when I thought everyone was
                        > through my
                        > older brother would reach for a second helping and grin at me since
                        he
                        > knew I was
                        > impatient to open the presents. Once the meal was finally over we
                        were
                        > each given an
                        > apple and told to cut it in half. If the cut apple formed a star in
                        the
                        > center you would live
                        > another year. I remember always being glad my apple formed a star
                        after
                        > Dad cut it. It
                        > wasn't until years later that I learned it depended on how the apple
                        was
                        > cut whether there
                        > was a star or not.
                        >
                        > The meal having officially ended we waited for a tiny bell to
                        ring.
                        > Dad
                        > usually slipped away and rang the bell that was a signal that baby
                        Jesus
                        > had gone and left
                        > the gifts under the tree. We did not believe in Santa Claus because
                        Mama
                        > said that was a
                        > pagan custom. Upon hearing the bell we walked into the room and saw
                        the
                        > Christmas tree
                        > for the first time. (Mama and Dad decorated the tree secretly the
                        day
                        > before and kept the
                        > door locked.) Candles lit the tree, many beautiful ornaments,
                        strings of
                        > popped corn and
                        > tinsel , all the tree could hold. I wish I could have only one of
                        the
                        > beautiful ornaments
                        > today. I can still see it all. When all were in the room , we knelt
                        in
                        > prayer offered for all
                        > the departed members of the family. Then carols were sung in Czech
                        and
                        > finally we would
                        > open our gifts. When we were through with the gifts we went back to
                        the
                        > table for hot tea
                        > and more snacks. We sat around until it was time to dress for
                        Midnight
                        > Mass. We all
                        > bundled up in our Model T ford and off we went.
                        >
                        > Loretta and David wrote:
                        >
                        > > The tradition of " Svaty Mikulas" St. Nicholas Day had been
                        > > observed by our family up throught the 1950's. It was on the eve
                        of
                        > > the 6th of December, which the feast of St. Nicholas on the Roman
                        > > Catholic Canlender. On this evening all the children would set out
                        a
                        > > plate with cookies, nuts, an apple one orange and a glass of milk.
                        > > Usually any gift which we thought St. Nick might like. We would
                        pray
                        > > that St. Nicholas would visit our home and find in his heart that
                        we
                        > > were good boys and girls and repay us with small gifts. That
                        morning
                        > > we always got up early to see the what he had left for us. In some
                        > > cases if we had misbehaved the day before we often found a small
                        limb
                        > > from a peach or plum tree with a pretty red bow (a switch) but we
                        were
                        > > never so bad that we did not receive any goodies on our plate.
                        > >
                        > > The next holy day was December 8, The feast of the Immaculate
                        > > Conception, this also was a day when we awaited the coming of the
                        > > Blessed Virgin Mary. On this date we would receive articles such
                        as
                        > > Holy Cards, a rosary, maybe a prayerbook, etc.....
                        > >
                        > > The tradition of fish for Christmas Eve. Is this a tradition
                        orginated
                        > > in the Czech lands or is based on tradition of the Roman Catholic
                        > > Church? Those that remember when we Catholics were not allowed to
                        eat
                        > > meat on Friday, we were also to fast from meat on the eve of every
                        > > Holy Day. This was a law of the Church. I'm not sure but some of
                        the
                        > > other denominations also observed this practice. This was our fish
                        day
                        > > or vegetable soup etc.... We ate fish on Friday and also on the
                        eve of
                        > > Holydays and Ash Wednesday. I wonder if this tradition of eating
                        fish
                        > > did not evolve from this practice?
                        > >
                        > > Here is another tradition someone out there might remember. On
                        > > Christmas Eve day if you eat you will not see the "Golden Pig" Has
                        > > anyone out there remember seeing the golden pig. Does anyone
                        remember
                        > > what had to be done and why? I know that we always had to fast so
                        many
                        > > hours before receiving Holy Communion. On Christmas Eve we always
                        went
                        > > to Midnite Mass and received Holy Communion. We always ate a
                        evening
                        > > meal that day, and Grandma always placed a little money under her
                        > > plate for good luck, so in order to receive communion at midnite
                        mass
                        > > we had to abstain from food the remainder of the evening until
                        > > midnite. With so many goodies around it was very difficult for the
                        > > young ones to stay out of the kitchen. My reasoning is that we
                        were
                        > > promised to see the Golden Pig, if we did not snack on goodies
                        before
                        > > midnite Mass so we could receive Communion. Why a Golden Pig?
                        Beats
                        > > me. Anyone out there have the answer?
                        > >
                        > > David B.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > CShep10511@a... wrote:
                        > >
                        > >> Thanks for this info. My mother tells exactly this same story of
                        > >> this
                        > >> tradition that was still celebrated as she was a child. Too bad
                        > >> some of
                        > >> these wonderful traditions had not been continued with the 2nd
                        and
                        > >> 3rd
                        > >> generation Czech-Americans.
                        > >>
                        > >> I am happy to say we have continued to celebrate a European
                        > >> Christmas and
                        > >> Santa comes on our house on Christmas Eve. We also continue the
                        > >> tradition of
                        > >> having a fish fry (ryby) on Christmas Eve as do many of our Czech
                        > >> family in
                        > >> Europe.
                        > >>
                        > >> Happy Holidays.
                        > >>
                        > >> Connie
                        > >>
                        > >> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > >> texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >
                        > --
                        > Lois Petter Pereira
                        > Researching Ahlhorn, Bokemeyer, Brdusik, Bruntrig, Cordes, Filges,
                        > Francis, Garney, Gebauer, Hadac, Hadash, Halla, Hauser, Hoelschel,
                        > Kaskie, Maciejeski, Manak, Nauger, Ollre, Orsag, Orsak, Otjen,
                        Papiz,
                        > Pavlik, Pereira, Petter, Polasek, Pratka, Psencik, Rada, Rohan,
                        > Sablatura, Schaub, Schroeder, Slovack, Susil, Tiemann, Urban, Weiser
                      • Kathy Horak Smith
                        Try this site. A history of the Christmas traditions was written by Will Mae Cervenka. She is a member of the McLennan-Hill Counties CHS Chapter.
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
                          Try this site.  A history of the Christmas traditions was written by Will Mae Cervenka.  She is a member of the McLennan-Hill Counties CHS Chapter. 
                          http://czechheritage.org/czechchristmas.html 
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 2:22 AM
                          Subject: Re: [TexasCzechs] Mikulas tradition

                          The tradition of  " Svaty Mikulas"  St. Nicholas Day  had been observed by our family up throught the 1950's. It was on the eve of  the 6th of December,  which the feast of St. Nicholas on the Roman Catholic Canlender. On this evening all the children would set out a plate with cookies, nuts, an apple one orange and a glass of milk. Usually any gift which we thought St. Nick might like. We would pray that St. Nicholas would visit our home and find in his heart that we were good boys and girls and repay us with small gifts. That morning we always got up early to see the what he had left for us. In some cases if we had misbehaved the day before we often found a  small limb from a peach or plum tree with a pretty red bow (a switch) but we were never so bad that we did not receive any goodies on our plate.

                          The next holy day was December 8, The feast of the Immaculate Conception, this also was a day when we awaited the coming of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this date we would receive articles such as Holy Cards, a rosary, maybe a prayerbook, etc.....

                          The tradition of fish for Christmas Eve. Is this a tradition orginated in the Czech lands or is based on tradition of the Roman Catholic Church? Those that remember when we Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Friday, we were also to fast from meat on the eve of every Holy Day. This was a law of the Church. I'm not sure but some of the other denominations also observed this practice. This was our fish day or vegetable soup etc.... We ate fish on Friday and also on the eve of Holydays and Ash Wednesday. I wonder if this tradition of eating fish did not evolve from this practice?

                          Here is another tradition someone out there might remember. On Christmas Eve day if you eat you will not see the "Golden Pig" Has anyone out there remember seeing the golden pig. Does anyone remember what had to be done and why? I know that we always had to fast so many hours before receiving Holy Communion. On Christmas Eve we always went to Midnite Mass and received Holy Communion. We always ate a evening meal that day, and Grandma always placed a little money under her plate for good luck, so in order to receive communion at midnite mass we had to abstain from food the remainder of the evening until midnite. With so many goodies around it was very difficult for the young ones to stay out of the kitchen. My reasoning is that we were promised to see the Golden Pig, if we did not snack on goodies before midnite Mass so we could receive Communion. Why a Golden Pig? Beats me. Anyone out there have the answer?

                          David B.
                           
                           
                           
                           

                          CShep10511@... wrote:

                          Thanks for this info.  My mother tells exactly this same story of this
                          tradition that was still celebrated  as she was a child.  Too bad some of
                          these wonderful traditions had not been continued with the 2nd and 3rd
                          generation Czech-Americans.

                          I am happy to say we have continued to celebrate a European Christmas and
                          Santa comes on our house on Christmas Eve. We also continue the tradition of
                          having a fish fry (ryby) on Christmas Eve as do many of our Czech family in
                          Europe.

                          Happy Holidays.

                          Connie

                          To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          texasczechs-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                           
                           

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