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Re: [TexasCzechs] Mikulas tradition

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Dec 6 8:28 AM
      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 2 of 11 , Dec 9 3:05 AM
        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 3 of 11 , Dec 9 3:12 AM
          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 4 of 11 , Dec 9 3:23 AM
            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 5 of 11 , Dec 9 3:37 AM
              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 6 of 11 , Dec 9 8:52 AM
                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 7 of 11 , Dec 9 8:54 AM
                  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 8 of 11 , Dec 9 7:36 PM
                    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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