Two Sundays before Christmas, Yugoslavian children celebrate Mother's Day and play a trick on their mother. They would steal around her when she is not being attentive and tie her feet to a chair. Then they would ask for presents as ransom before releasing her shouting 'Mother's Day, Mother's Day, what will you pay to get away?' Mothers already arrange presents for the occasion and children are delighted to get gifts from her. Next Sunday is the Father's Day, when the fathers fall victim to the same trick and have to ransom themselves by giving presents to their children. Besides these tricks, Yugoslavs have some other customs associated with Christmas too.
If the Christmas logs burn out on the Christmas night, it is considered
bad luck and so someone has to be on constant lookout to keep the log
burning all through the night. They also prepare a special Christmas
cake called 'Chestnitsa' and hide a silver or gold coin in it. When the
cake is distributed, the person who gets the piece with the coin is
considered to be the luckiest one all the year round with lot of good
things to hope for. A roast pig traditionally carved in a unique style
is the customary Christmas dish that is essential at the dinner table.
Every Yugoslavian family has a Christmas crib that they line with moss
in preparation for the Christ and according to the old customs; they
went on an expedition to the forests to gather fresh moss for the
purpose. The old-fashioned family music box is often used to play
Pre-Christmas festivals and the special Christmas cake called 'Chestnitsa' characterize Yugoslavian Christmas celebration.