The long-awaited month of festivities has finally arrived, so ‘tis the season to be jolly! Although it might be the most cliché sentence you have heard, the Christmas season is genuinely the warmest, most marvellous one of the year! Family and friends gather, with hearts bursting with sheer joy and utter happiness!
MONTENEGRO – WHERE CHRISTMAS IS CELEBRATED TWICE
Known as the country of cultural and ethnic diversities, Montenegro takes pride in being a multi-confessional one too. On the surface of 13.812km2, different religious communities have resided for centuries, celebrating holidays together in peace and harmony. Visitors and tourists commonly get surprised when they learn that Montenegro celebrates two Christmases, one in December and one in January. Don’t get puzzled right away, here is the catch:
Christianity is the most widespread religion in Montenegro, disseminated between Catholics and Orthodox. As Catholic believers (followers of the Roman Catholic Church) celebrate Christmas on December 25th according to the Georgian calendar, Orthodox believers (followers of Eastern Orthodox Church) celebrate it according to the Julian calendar on January 7th. Although the dates are different, the celebrated event remains the same, with customs and traditions very similar. With a double Christmas celebration, it is safe to say that, during these months, our country becomes extra merry!
Christmas at Home
In Montenegro, Christmas is not associated with a typical rushed holiday season and harried presents-shopping – on the contrary! Christmas in Montenegro means family time spent in peace and tranquillity. It is traditional for family members to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home, with their nearest and dearest, before venturing out on the third day to deliver season greetings to their friends and relatives. During Christmas, it is common that instead of using everyday greetings, you say, ‘Christ is born!’, and the person you greet replies ‘Truly he is born!’
With Orthodox being a religious majority in the country, the celebration starts on Christmas Eve (January 6th), marking the last day of the 40-day traditional Orthodox fast. Although a plentiful meal is prepared, it usually has no meat nor dairy products but, instead, comprises of fish, beans, potatoes, bread, salad, compote, as well as dried and fresh fruit. All around Christian Balkans, red wine, and traditional brandy ‘rakija’ are served at the typical Christmas table.
Besides the rich table, one of the widespread Orthodox traditions involves the head of the household chopping branches off an oak tree and bringing them home on the morning of Christmas Eve. The oak branches are brought into the house as the Christmas Eve feast starts and set alight in the hearth, where their flames keep burning throughout Christmas Day.
However, Christmas in Montenegro is not only limited to family traditions and time at home, as there are numerous indoor and outdoor leisure-time activities available to make your holidays truly memorable. Additionally, having an option of two Christmases is an ideal excuse to extend your winter stay and enjoy longer than planned. To take part in the holiday festivities, book your stay right here in Luštica Bay, where we have prepared a month full of high spirits, special discounts, and rich events offer.
This winter, you can experience holiday magic in Montenegro with the seasonal packages offered by The Chedi Luštica Bay, starting from the Long Stay offer to calming wellbeing signature packages and other SPA treatments at The Chedi spa. Unwind and relax in your luxurious refugee, with the superb festive dining experience in one of our recognisable restaurants. This year, The Chedi Luštica Bay offers an extraordinary experience of New Year celebration that allows you to travel the world in just one night from the comfort of your bed. Check the packages of the festive and gala New Year’s Eve here.
According to current information, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, all outdoor performances and concerts might be cancelled. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t go out and explore our Marina village and other neighbouring townlets, boasting with Christmas energy and seasonal events magic from mid-December until mid-January. Despite its size compared to other continental European destinations, the coastal part of Montenegro has many hidden treasures just waiting to be uncovered. Take a stroll through the Old Towns of Kotor or Budva while relishing in a hot beverage and enjoying the view of those beautifully decorated towns.
If spending Christmas next to the seaside at comfortably mild-climate and over-the-average temperatures is not your cup of tea, and you want to experience the authentic snowy idle, then look no further. Only a 2-hour drive from Luštica Bay, the northern-winter magic on the slopes of the staggering mountains of Bjelasica and Durmitor awaits. Skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, and snowmobiling are just some of the activities that will complete your snow-white Christmas experience.
Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this is the season to surround yourself with loved people and enjoy the contagious vibes! We are thrilled to welcome the upcoming holidays’ joy and all the magic that it brings, and we invite you to be part of this spectacular time with us!