Christmas in Macedonia is celebrated very differently to the UK. For starters, in Macedonia, Christmas is on January the 7th. Secondly, Macedonians don’t exchange presents at Christmas, but at New Year and lastly, Christmas dinner is traditionally totally vegan. Yes, no turkeys involved, and they live to see another Christmas in Macedonia 🙂
You might be thinking why so different? Well, the Macedonian Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar for the religious festivals unlike the Gregorian calendar used for all secular activities. And although the main Christmas day is on the 7th, the celebrations start on the 5th January on a day called ‘Kolede’. This is the day when early in the morning children go door to door, singing Christmas carols and get cookies, fruit, nuts and coins from the hosts. Later in the day, the elderly gather around a bonfire (every neighbourhood lights up one) while drinking warmed up spirits ‘rakija’ and wine and reminiscing about the year passed and the year to come.