In Albania, Christmas is one of the most popular festivals and celebrated with great merriment by the local people who observe the occassion as a commemoration of the birth of Lord Jesus. The population of the country is mixed with Muslems and Christians. But Christmas in Albania is unique, what with both the communities celebrating the occassion with almost equal fervor.
Albanians share a wonderful bond with their family members and for them, family values stand above anything else. Hence Christmas in Albania is a family affair. Here, people love to celebrate the festival in the company of their entire family.
The Christmas traditions observed here are more or less similar to that of the rest of the world. Popular customs such as attending the midnight mass on 24th night and going to the church in the morning is religiously followed by all the Christians of Albania. The gift giving tradition, as observed in other western countries, has been in practice here too for a long time. During Christmas, Albanians exchange gifts with their friends, family members and all those they interact with for the rest of the year.
Feasting takes a prominent place in the Christmas celebrations in Albania. On Christmas Day, every home in the country cook up sumptuous Christmas meals in the conventional manner. Stuffed Turkey and delectable desserts form the most important part of Christian meals. A specialty of the Albanian Christmas dinner is "Bakllava", the famous dessert known as "Baklavash" in America. One of the tastiest dishes of Christmas dinner in Albania, the "Bakllava" is actually like a pie, but far more tough to prepare.
The Christmas Tree is a prominent feature of Albanian Christmas. In Tirana, the capital city of Albania, a huge Christmas tree is decorated annually during Christmas. This is very similar to the famous Christmas tree decoration of New York. In many renowned hotels in the country, lavish parties are organized during the festival.