About Vlkolínec

Pre-Christmas Customs

The pre-Christmas advent period in Vlkolínec was filled with expectation of the holidays.

During the advent period, there were no parties or weddings. Women and children in particular participated in the advent worship every morning.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the tradition of giving gifts to children on St. Nicholas Day began in Vlkolínec as well. The night before St. Nicholas Day, children had to clean their shoes thoroughly and they placed them at the window before going to bed. In the morning, they found candy and nuts in the shoes and they were thrilled with joy. Life was modest in those time, people were able to enjoy even the little things.

There were special customs associated with December 13, when Lucy was the name in the calendar. On this day, young men and women cut out 13 pieces of paper. On each piece of paper, young women wrote a different young man’s name, and young men wrote women’s names. Afterwards, they put the pieces of paper with the names into an envelope. In the evening of the same day, they pulled out one piece of paper from the envelope, looked at it and burned it. Then, every evening after that, they pulled out one piece of paper and burned it again. Based on the superstitions, the last piece of paper contained the name of the boy to whom the girl was going to get married, and for the boys, the remaining name was the girl who would become their wife.

There was another custom associated with the day of Lucy, the so-called chasing away of witches. In the evening, children and young people took cow bells, hung them on their necks and ran around the village, shouting and ringing, which was supposed to chase away witches from Vlkolínec.