Advent customs in Varaždin
On the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, believers gather in front of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Heaven (Varaždin Cathedral), where the Bishop of Varaždin performs the ritual of lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath in front of the cathedral. By the candlelight ceremony, we prepare for the birth of Jesus – the coming of eternal Light. Every next Sunday, the same rite of lit Advent candle is performed, with prayer and commemorative songs sung by the choirs of Varaždin.
On the day of St. Lucy, December 13, wheat is traditionally sown as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. On Christmas Eve, before the very celebration of Christmas – the birth of Jesus – believers are fasting. On that day in these areas is traditionally eaten so called “koščičjak” from Kučani – a protected dish typical of these areas, prepared by local housewives from buckwheat flour and pumpkin seed oil.
Christmas is traditionally celebrated in the circle of friends and family, together going to mass, giving presents and a festive lunch for which some housewives serve homemade turkey from Zagorje.
On the Feast of St. Stephen, December 26, at the Varaždin Cathedral, there is a traditional Holy Mass for persons with disabilities in the city of Varaždin. At this holy mass, we pray in a special way for all immovable persons, their family members and other persons who help them in their daily lives.
On the eve of the Three Kings’ Day, a vigil with the blessed water is traditionally set up in the Varaždin Cathedral, from which the blessed water can be poured out by the faithful and taken to their homes.