Traditionally, on feast day of St. Lucia (13th of December) in homes of Kostajnica, wheat is soaked in water and sown that night, more precisely, it is spread on a big shallow plate with dirt.
According to tradition, a wide empty glass is put in the middle of the plate and short before Christmas it is filled with grains, corn and wheat that has grown and become green in the meantime. That glass is then decorated with three Christmas candles around which croatian tricolor is braided and an apple is put in the middle.
Christmas wheat is traditionally considered a symbol of well-being, fertility, health and peace, both in home and in the nation. It is a custom that family and friends gather around Christmas wheat for prayer and socializing.
Christmas Eve and Christmas
When we talk about Christmas customs associated with Kostajnica, then we have to point out Tucindan, the day before Christmas Eve, when in the past people have had the tradition of roasting sausages. Families and friends gathered and in one convenient roaster roasted sausages all day and socialized while eating homemade bread and drinking wine.
Traditionally, on Christmas Eve last preparations for Christmas are made. It is also a day of fasting, so traditionally in homes of Kostajnica where fish specialties, bean salad and Kostajnica braids are prepared.
On Christmas Eve the Christmas tree is decorated and the manger displaying Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is made. The last cakes are baked before a festive dinner where the family gathers for prayer and socializing before going to Midnight Mass. After Midnight Mass celebration of Christmas, Jesus birth begins. On Christmas Day, families and friends gather in common prayer, socializing and giving gifts.