We want to bring you some of the Christmas spirit of our island. Most say that this is the most wonderful time of the year, and indeed, it is.
We have finished the job with olives and we started to socialise a bit more, not that we haven't done it while the olives where still up on the trees, but we only had that one theme, how much oil will there be. It was a really good season!
Now that Christmas is getting closer, we are focusing on the family and how to organise our gatherings. As on all islands most of the families have someone in the other parts of the world, but this is the only place they call home and our population almost doubles for that reason at this time. We welcome and meet, enjoy and share the unity and spirit of a most beautiful and beloved piece of the world, surrounded by the sea, our island.
Here on the island the Christmas is truly very traditional and untouched by the excessive consumerism as in other parts of the world.
There is a strong Christian tradition and certain other rituals involved, most in regards to the Christmas table and the foods which are prepared. Special and the most important detail are the fish courses with typical dishes on the Christmas Eve.
On the Christmas Eve the children gather in groups to sing, from door to door and announce the Christmas. The habit is to ask the host to allow the singing in front of the main door and once the song is over, the singers are welcomed in and offered cakes and cookies, with some pocket money on the side nowadays. This tradition is much spread and most of the island children participate, thus making the Christmas Eve homes welcoming many people. This habit is repeated on the Silvestre Eve as well as on the eve announcing the three Kings.
Midnight Mass is when everyone heads to church for what is perhaps the most important event of the Christmas period.
After Midnight Mass, Merry Christmas is wished among the families and friends, followed by a celebration continued in homes.
Children are especially happy having their presents opened as soon as they wake up. They find them of course under a Christmas tree that is always a pine tree very well decorated depicting the birth of Jesus. It is very important to have found a very nice tree and picked fine moss to arrange the scene as good a possible.
The Christmas lunch is when the family meats around the table to mark and wish each other a healthy and prosperous year, continued by a rich meat meal and plenty of typical cakes and cookies.
Here is a recipe of a typical island Christmas dessert: 'Prsurate' (Dalmatian fritters):
1 cup yogurt
1-2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp rum or brandy
2 Tbsp sugar
Mix all ingredients.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of batter in hot oil and fry, 2 or 3 at a time, until golden, about 4-5 minutes, turning with a slotted spoon as necessary.
Drain on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Christmas in a home away from home, the island way? Why not give a try?!
Posted by Davor