Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogical Research
Christmas in Slovakia
The Original Long Weekend
A few years ago in the United States, there was a movement to make long weekends out of national holidays. Rather than falling on a given day, the holiday was set to fall on a Monday, making a three day weekend. This is not a new idea.
In the Carpatho-Rusyn villages of Slovakia, Greek Catholic holy days of obligation were considered the same as a Sunday.
Only the work usual done on Sunday was done and the balance of the holy day was reserved for Sunday activities rather than work.
Christmas Day, of course, was a holy day of obligation. The day before Christmas was always a special day for most families with the activities of Christmas Eve being the high point of the year.
The day after Christmas was also a holy day of obligation, the Feast of the Synaxis of the Mother of God.
The following day was also celebrated as a holy day of obligation, the Feast of Stephen.
This made Christmas a four day feast, the original long weekend for the villagers of the Carpathian Mountains.
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