Eastern Slovakia
Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogical Research

Christmas Eve Traditions

Polko clan of Lietava/Hlota has a tradition of breaking open a walnut, and reading the four sections to find out what kind of luck we will have for the rest of the coming year.

Apparently, this has been in our family for many generations. As you know, walnuts, when they are split open, are separated into four sections. Each section represents a quarter of the year.

If one or more or all segments are healthy, then its a good year.

If one or more sections are black and shrivelled, then its bad news.

If one portion of the nut breaks in such a way, that one part bulges, or if there is nothing in one section, it means that the bulging part will be especially good, while the empty portion will be particularly bad.

There is more, but thats roughly how it works, and there is also a great deal of latitude in the interpretation.

The custom always follows the same order.

1. = prayers

2. = spreading oplatky with honey, and blessing of foreheads

3. = splitting the walnuts, and seeing what the year holds for you

4. = a toast of wine/champagne(but preferrably home made wine)

5. = A bowl of kapusnitca, etc., etc.....


John E.Polko - Email:

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