Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Month of Christmas

We spent a good part of December feeling sorry for ourselves for living in a city without Christmas decorations.

Turns out we were just looking too early. Stores started putting up lights and ornaments and trees around December 23. Not all the stores, of course--this is a Muslim majority city--but probably a third of the stores downtown put up some sort of window display or decoration that seems Christmasy to me.

And they're still up. I took these photos on January 15. I also photographed a bunch of Christmasy window displays but it turns out I don't know how to take photos through plate glass windows. So trust me: there are lots of Christmasy store windows around town.

The thing we hadn't realized is that December 25 is just the start of the Christmas season, not its culmination. During the Communist era, New Year's was the big celebration, and it's still much more important culturally than Christmas, so a lot of things that I think of as Christmasy would remind a Bosnian of New Year's. And half of all the Christians in town are Serbian Orthodox who celebrate Christmas on January 7.

So we get Christmas decorations for a month here, just like in the US. It's just a different month.

1 comment:

Ariel said...

It was similar in Spain. Though there were more lights in Barcelona, the main holiday was for Tres Reyes, Three Kings Day. It's always interesting to learn the details of what's unique in our culture.