To celebrate holidays, we asked our colleagues all around Europe to share their favourite holidays traditions and hopes for the next year! We were overwhelmed by the positive response, so instead of keeping the campaign only our social media accounts, we decided to compile and share some of them on our website.

What is the Christmas tradition in your country?

Elisabeth Ringhofer (Austria)
I am an absolute Christmas fan, love official, as well as unofficial customs in general and we, have already made one or two traditions for and with our children in the family. Maybe not so well known in Vienna, but in our village, the age-old custom in the new year is the visit of the “Pudlmutter” on the evening of January 5th, which has become a nice annual tradition. The Pudelmutter is an old stooped female, with her head covered by a headscarf. On the night of 5 to 6 January, the Pudelmutter goes from house to house and visits many waiting children. She walks silently, lets nuts, sweets, apples etc. “puddeln” (= roll) on the floor and disappears again immediately afterwards. According to custom, she brings blessings into the house and drives away evil winter spirits.

Burgerland Team Christmas party and Christmas uniforms!

Luiza Jurkiewicz-Wójcik (Poland)
In our house, there is a tradition to sing Christmas carols after Christmas Eve dinner. I play the piano or the flute, and our guests sing the songs. I also have additional instruments prepared for them – bells, a triangle, and rattles so that they can co-create carols with me. There is a lot of joy and fun while playing and singing together.

Markus Pichler (Austria)
Every year, when the worst of the Christmas stress is over and all the family members have been visited, my wife, my two daughters and I always take an hour on 26.12.22 in the evening, light the candles on the Christmas tree, dim the lights, sit together in front of the brightly lit tree and passionately (falsely) sing all kinds of Christmas carols. This has been our personal Christmas tradition for almost 10 years.

David Makhatadze (Georgia)

We are not celebrating Christmas on 25th of December, but on 7th of January as an orthodox country. The most important is a person called Mekvle – person who will be the first guest in the new year. We “believe” Mekvle can bring a good or bad luck to the family. Some families have chosen their Mekvle in prior and some are just waiting who will come the first. And yes – we had a “snowman” instead of Santa Claus, who was arriving from the hills of Georgia and bringing gifts to kids

Claudia Deiser (Austria)
Our Christmas party is always legendary and lasts until the early hours of the morning

Roberta Tomaševičiūtė (Lithuania)
My family has a tradition of decorating a live tree before Christmas when we visit our parents, roasting a duck or a turkey, chatting about the past year and sharing plans and ideas for the upcoming year, exchanging gifts and playing fun games.

Roberta Tomaševičiūtė shared how her home looks like during Christmas

Zoltán Mezős (Hungary)
A famous special food tradition is the ’Szaloncukor’ which is a special Christmas Candies use to decorate Christmas trees. This delicacy, which comes with different candy fillings, is covered in high-quality handmade chocolate and wrapped in colourful foil, it is a real local Hungarian tradition.

Jasmina Milković Bidovec (Slovenia)
Christmas in Slovenia is a lovely holiday spent with family and friends. Usually, on Christmas Eve the family gathers for Christmas dinner, and people of faith go to the midnight mass. The following morning comes to the Christmas breakfast and the opening of presents.

Eva Špinková (Czech Republic)
Before the first Sunday of Advent, Christmas decorations are made, such as an Advent wreath, candlesticks, etc. During December, Christmas sweets are baked, traditional types include gingerbread, linzer, and vanilla rolls. Our mothers used to compete to see who could make more different types of sweets and the standard numbers were over 10. On Christmas Eve morning we decorate the Christmas tree with the kids, husband prepares lunch and dinner. In the afternoon we go for a walk, every year we go to Vyšehrad castle to get the Bethlehem light for the lamps and then use that to light the candle for Christmas dinner. After dinner, we go for a short walk (usually we meet the neighbours) to give Santa time to bring presents under the tree.

Nartsislav Nikolov (Bulgaria)
As a family holiday, Christmas (Christmas Eve) in Bulgaria is traditionally celebrated in a narrower or wider family circle, as the table has always had a symbolic meaning in Christianity in our lands – for Christmas, it should be lean and include only dishes and products that the earth has given us as a gift. In addition to lean dishes, there should be a candle on the table, as well as a bag of yellow coins / a symbol of gold coins and fertility in the house/. The meal is lit with incense by the oldest man in the house, saying a prayer. At midnight on Christmas Eve, carolers come in to bring the good news and say a blessing to the owners and their homes. Local dishes (traditionally pork) are eaten on Christmas Day. The glorious church on the second day after Lent invites the priests to extol the blessed bread of the Mother of God. That is why the gathering is called the Feast of the First Lady.

What is your favourite holidays memory?

Ipek Uztan (Turkey)
One of my best memory goes back to my childhood, when I was living in Germany at that time, we used to go to the ‘’Christkindlmarkt’’every year and we were able to experience that atmosphere.
The most thing I am grateful for is being healthy, and being together with family and friends. I’m always looking forward to the future with hope.

Deak Simona (Romania)
My favorite memory is caroling, especially on Christmas Eve.

Bogdan Santovac (Czech Republic)
Since I am originally come from Northern part of Serbia where I spent half of my life, in a city,
and also in a village during the school breaks, I would like to emphasize some of the traditions from
that period. On Christmas Eve there is a tradition that all the kids from the neighbourhood meet together and go from house to house and recite traditional Christmas songs. After that, the neighbours give us some
candies, chocolate, fruits and sometimes even a small amount of money. It is also worth noting that
Serbs are celebrating Orthodox Christmas on the 7th of January (by Julian Calendar).

Iwona Balcerek-Majchrzak (Poland)
Each member of our family prepares their own Christmas card.
We write down on it what we wish for ourselves on the occasion of Christmas, for the next new year. On this day, we hang the prepared cards together on the Christmas tree. With the intention that wishes come true in the wonderful new year that will come to us!

Thomas Kadeřábek (Czech Republic)
Smell of pine needles and smell of the preparation of carp.

Hristo Kalchev (Bulgaria)
Love spending time with the family at the table – I follow the tradition of eating pork and drinking wine. My favorite tradition is watching the kids open their presents and spending time with them. This year I’m thankful that I’m healthy and still alive.

Lora Filipova (Bulgaria) shared a snapshot of the Christmas feast in her home!

Özlen Işıldak (Turkey)
When the Turkey office was established in 2013, we were sitting in the lobby of a hotel on New Year’s Eve organizing the policies of the customers. Everyone was having fun around us and celebrating the new year, but we were so focused on our work that I remember an old woman came up to me and said why are you working on New Year’s Eve. The most thing I’m grateful for is working together with such a great team. Also to be healthy and be together with my family.

Inga Bobińska (Poland)
Hare’s pâté. Nothing reminds me of Christmas more than the taste of that pâté. A pâté from my childhood, Christmas spent in a small Polish town, the late 1970s, 24th December, my small, childish world covered in white down, snow crunching underfoot, frost pinching my nose, window panes painted by the frost, a Christmas tree smelling of needles (it was still growing in the forest in the morning), a stove bursting with heat, pots of boiling delicacies. And in the pantry, on the shelves bending under the weight of delicacies, a freshly baked pâté. Pâté made from a hare hunted by my beloved grandfather.

Sandra Šuštar (Slovenia)
Every year, we celebrate Christmas in a close family circle, where we prepare Christmas dinner, play board games and take a family photo next to the decorated Christmas tree.

Edit Deákné Németh (Hungary)
When I was a child, we had a ceramic bell at home. My parents rang the bell from the closed room saying if it was possible to go because Jesus had already been there – in Hungary it is Jesus who brings the gifts for Christmas. Unfortunately, this bell broke a few years ago, but my kids surprised me with a new bell.

Our team in the Tirol office brought the Christmas spirit!

Görkem Güresin (Turkey)
One of my favourite Christmas memory was our trip with my wife to Salzburg. The atmosphere, lighting, gifts, smiling people, happiness, connection, food and classical music was unforgettable. Since then, we always remember and celebrate those memories to enrich our traditional family gathering for new year’s eve.

Andrej Hribar (Slovenia)
My Christmas tradition is to go to Viševnik at sunset on Christmas Eve. (Viševnik is a 2050 m high mountain in Slovenia. Also, Andrej’s last name includes the Slovene word for “hill”: “hrib”)

What are you grateful for this Christmas?

Sas Silviu (Romania)
One of my best memory goes back to my childhood, when I was living in Germany at that time, we used to go to the ‘’Christkindlmarkt’’every year and we were able to experience that atmosphere.
The most thing I am grateful for is being healthy, and being together with family and friends. I’m always looking forward to the future with hope.

Viktor Markov (Bulgaria)
I’m thankful for a lot of things that year, but I’m really glad that I’ve done a lot because of the good health and the possibility to work hard.

Kovács Norbert (Hungary)
I am going to be a father which is the best thing ever. Can not wait to unite with my son against my wife.My time will come!

Popek Karel (Czech Republic)
Slow down and enjoy the family atmosphere, enjoy all the good food and spend time with family and friends.

Petya Ivanova (Bulgaria)
I am most grateful for the people around me, and when everyone is healthy and together, it is the greatest gift.

Jagiełło Izabela (Poland)
I’m thankful for the little things in our lives, such as the sunshine on our faces, the goals we achieve each day and the opportunities we get from others.

Related News