On Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, Prince of Peace Parish will celebrate one of the most beloved Slovak traditions – the Vilija -- Christmas Eve dinner. This very special dinner is filled with memories and although a meatless meal, it is by no means a meager one.
This year marks the 20th annual celebration of the Slovak Vilija at Prince of Peace Parish. Also known as Stredry Vecer – Bountiful Evening – this traditional meatless meal is enjoyed by Slovaks around the world.
The traditional Slovak menu includes oplatky with honey or garlic, baked fish and peas, homemade pirohy, mushroom soup, and bobalky with a choice of poppyseed or sauerkraut. There will be palachinky for desert, and apples to cut open to reveal the fortune of the coming year.
Traditional kolac (nut and poppy seed rolls) will be available for purchase, and a Slovak market is planned where guests can select unique last minute gifts. Wine will also be served with dinner.
Following the satisfying meal, guests can relax amid folk songs, dances and carols lead by the Pittsburgh Slovakians – Tri-State area’s oldest performing Slovak folk ensemble. The performance will focus on the winter customs of Slovakia, including the re-telling of the visit of the shepherds at Christ’s birth by the Jaslickari -- the Bethlehem Carolers.
Those who celebrate their own stredy vecer, or share the priceless customs of other ethnic backgrounds, are all welcome to join the Prince of Peace Parish family on Saturday, Dec. 14, as they remember the treasured traditions of their Slovak heritage. The cost for the evening is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12.
Reservations are required by December 10. Tickets may be obtained by calling the Prince of Peace Parish office at 412-481-8380.
Doors open at 4 p.m. According to tradition, dinner will be served as the first star rises (5 p.m.). The Prince of Peace Parish Center is fully handicap-accessible and parking is available on site.