Christmas Traditions in Eastern Europe!


Christmas Traditions around the World!

Eastern European Countries

It’s Christmas time again! The holidays are a wonderful time to spend quality time with loved ones and take part in family traditions. One thing that MLJ Adoptions encourages families to do is to incorporate other countries traditions to help their adopted children feel more at home. Each country that MLJ partners with has very unique and fun holiday traditions that can easily be added to your home during the holiday season!


In Bulgaria advent starts on November 15th and last 40 days until Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. It is traditional for families to have a meal on Christmas Eve that includes an odd number of meatless dishes and an odd number of people sitting around the table. There is a special type of bread called ‘pita’ that is usually baked with a coin inside of it! If you find the coin you will have good luck for the next year. The oldest person at the table cuts the bread and hands it around the table. Straw is often put under the tablecloth and a wooden plough is placed inside the house behind the door. This is said to bring good crops to the farms over the next year. Following the Christmas Eve meal families go to a Midnight Mass service or go caroling in traditional clothing.

Christmas trees: are now very popular in Bulgaria. They are often decorated with lights.

How to say Merry Christmas: ‘Vesela Koleda’

Bulgaria Pita Bread




In Ukraine Christmas is celebrated on January 7th because the Orthodox Church uses the old ‘Julian’ calendar for their church festivals. On Christmas Eve it is traditional to fast during the day but many start the day by drinking holy water that has been blessed at the church. In order to start eating dinner on Christmas Eve you must see the first star in the sky. The star represents the journey that the Wise Men took to find Jesus. The meal usually has 12 dishes which represents Jesus’s 12 disciples. A traditional main dish is ‘kutia’ which is a sweet porridge made of wheat. After dinner many people will sing carols or ‘Koliadky’.

Christmas trees: Christmas trees are often decorated with artificial spider webs, finding a spider on a web brings good luck!

How to say Happy/Merry Christmas: ‘’Веселого Різдва’ Veseloho Rizdva’

Kutia Recipe!



Listed below are all the sites we used to gather information. Take a look!

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