Christmas Upon Adriatic's Shores

Sunday, December 19, 1897
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The New York Herald December 19, 1897 GBISTMRS GPQH Hog|1=;'|'|c’5 §|-loxes. -As Recalled by- NIKOLA IKOLA TESLA does not often speak at length about hlmsglf or hls won- derful clnctrloal lnven- ¢ tlons. but hc sat and talked for an hour or two the other day wlth a frlend about Chrlstmas ln the province of Llka, whlch ls I1 hart of the Austro-Hungarian emplre and lies close to the Adrlatlc Son, near Herzl- govlna, Dalmatla and Hoslna. Tesla passed much of his boyhood ln Smlljun, u town of Llsa, where hls father was pastor of a Greek ch rch, but went from there whlle yct a boy. “Chrxstmas festlvltles ln my country." snld Mr. Tesla, "differ much from Chrlstmas fes- tlvltles here, yet there are many slmllarltles, too. We begln the celcbrntlon on the day be- fore Christmas by fasting. \Ve do_ not alto- gether ubstaln, belhg privileged to eat freely of flsh and all vegetable foods, but we may partake of no flesh meats. nor mllk, nor eggs This day ls devoted largely to reflectlon. antl lts observance lasts untll late on Christmas Eve. "We rlse very early ln my country on Christmas mornlng-aa early as three o'clock at the latest-to go to church and hear mass. All the mornlng untll eleven o’clocl¢ ls glven over to rellglous services of one sort or an- other, and but llttle lf any food ls taken untll that hour. By that tlme. however, every one ls hungry, and a llberal luncheon ls eaten, no dlscrfmlnatlon belng made ngalnst the heartlest food. “Everyone ln my country ls fond of coffee, which ls generally drunk ln large cups, Wlth cream or mllk. We may drlnk coffee on the day before Christmas, but wlthout milk only, and as we are allowed to resume the use of mllk in coffee on the day ltself. you may be sure we then indulge freely ln the dellclous drlnk. After thls breakfast. the gentlemen are served with llquors and llttle cakes. The Clrlltlsaa Dlaaer. “Tho Christmas dlnner comes later ln the day, and I allure you lt ls_al_ways a meal to remember. No. we do not serve turkey there as the ehlef dlsh, and I nm not sure that I can name any dlsh that may properly he sald to taketha turkey's place, unless lt be roast- ed plg. "I do not remember s. Chrlstmas dinner wlthout s roasted pig ln my country. The plg selected la always very young and small, and ls roasted entire after dreaslng, the cook- big belngattendad to with grenthcare and prolonged untll the skln ls erlsp and crack- ling. Besides the'Chr1stmh.s pig there are many other dlahoa served on the great Chrlst- mas festival-all the (006 tblngs, ln fact, that an be devised, the sumo as ln America; and every one esta -a.s.heartlly aspoellble. another point ln whlch the people of my oountry and Americans are alllw. _ ‘Then la alwayi a. Christmas tres wherever there arpohlldren ln my country, and the soodhouse mothsn and fathers prepare and ooorststhegn with much loving cane to tha I \ I Y fly., @?'u \ TESLA. great dellght of the llttle ones. There are al- ways present a-plenty on the trees, of course, but, even so, glft glvlng ls not so much 1 feature of the hollday tlmc hero ns there. "The stocklngsyare not hung up on Chrlst- mas eve, as here, ln my country, but on Bt. Nicholas Day, which falls some days earlier than Christmas. In America. the festival of Bt. Nlcholas, or Santa Claus, and Chrlstmas seem to be combined, but there they are kept separate, and the chlldren have two days of holiday rejolclng and frollc ln place of ODS. "As a matter of fnct. they have more than that, slncc the observance of Chrlstmu itself lasts two or three days after the day Itself, durlng all which time the greatest jolllty prevulls, and family reunlons are held. There ls much vlsltlng buck and forth, and seasonnble greetlngs flll the alr. "But sometlmes," comlnued the clectrlclan muslngly. as lfnhlnklng of other days, "tho reunions are nor held, and the vlsltlng exists ln the wlshes of the people only. That ls when the df.-ep snows come. A Lluul of Mllllty' Bnqwa. "For you must know," he went on, "that my country ls not only cold ln the winter, but subject nt tlmes to gneat snowfalls, the llke of which I have never seen ln the New World-snowfnlls eo deep that s. mnn‘s head would be far below the level of the llght and feathery substance ln many places; snowfalls that are often accompanlcd by wlld, flsrce wlnds. plhng the flakes up lnto enormous drlfts ln some places and sweeplng the rock bound soll clean ln others; snowfalls that lt ls not well to encounter unless shelter ls near, and that have burled many a human vlctlm beneath a mllk whlte death mantle. "Not all these terrlble storms come ln the wlnter season, elther, as I have excellent cause to remember. My country ls high above the sen level, my home was two thousand feet and more stralght up from the tlde, and many there be who llve one. two, almost three thousand fret hlgher."