Just about everyone’s family has a holiday tradition or two, but it’s rarer that families make up their own holidays. Some time in the early 1980s, no one can seem to recall exactly what year, my family dubbed December 26 as Belka. To assuage the post-Christmas letdown, we exchanged silly, useless, and/or seemingly random gifts wrapped with the wrapping paper inside out. Some years later, we learned that Belkais remarkably close to sounding like the words that mean white cow in a number of Slavic languages (белая корова [Russian], biela krava [Slovak], belo kravo [Slovenian], bijela krava [Croatian], бели крава [Serbian]). Thus, Belka evolved, and the white cow became its symbol.
We still celebrate Belka today and hope to spread the joyous tradition to all ends of the Earth.