Christmas 2015 - when and how is celebrated Orthodox Christmas in Russia

christmas picture2015 came from the birth of Christ, and the Bethlehem story still does not lose its magical appeal. Every January we are waiting for a miracle that goodness and grace will fill the souls. But even those who annually celebrate the holiday sometimes do not know all its secrets, customs and traditions.

Why celebrate Christmas

2015 years ago, the righteous husband Joseph and his pregnant wife Maria go to the city of Bethlehem for the census conducted by Emperor Augustus. Not finding a shelter, they are placed in a pen for cattle - a den - where the baby Jesus is born. It was he who came to earth to atone for the sins of mankind, to reconcile people with God. The first to bow to the divine child came the Magi, led by the Star of Bethlehem, and the shepherds, informed of the birth of angels. That night a miracle happened and each of us got a chance for salvation.Every year people remember this story in Russia and in Europe, celebratory services are held and prayers are offered in different languages.
Many people do not understand why Catholics celebrate the birth of the Savior on December 25, and the Orthodox - on January 7? Initially, the Julian calendar, introduced by Emperor Julius Caesar in 45 BC, was used throughout. e., then in 1582 it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar, named for Pope Gregory XIII. The Orthodox Church did not accept innovations, which is why the Russian, Serbian, Georgian and Jerusalem churches celebrate the holiday on January 7, and the Catholics and Protestants celebrate on December 25.
christmas view

As Christmas is celebrated in Russia

Orthodox Christmas has ancient traditions, they were formed in the 3-4th century. Prevailing holiday strict 40-day post. It is especially strictly observed on Christmas Eve - the evening preceding the holiday. Food restrictions, prayers, and the rejection of worldly pleasures are designed to purify the human soul. With the advent of the first star, you can start a feast. Our ancestors on the table were necessarily present with sochy-boiled rice in honey. The number of dishes corresponded to the number of apostles and was 12.In Europe, the table traditions are almost the same, but each country can boast of some special food. For example, in Greece it is customary to cook stuffed cabbage, they symbolically resemble a swaddled baby.

Do not forget about the Christmas worship, held on the night of 6-7 January.
Unfortunately, the romantic caroling ritual is gradually becoming a thing of the past. In towns and villages, young people dressed up and went around the house, welcoming the hosts with Christmas songs, wishing the hosts well-being, peace and a good harvest. In return, carols received a generous and tasty reward.
Christmas Eve begins on Christmas Eve. Celebrations continue right up to January 19, that is, until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Christmas carols

Where to celebrate Christmas

Christmas is a family holiday, on this day in Russia it is not customary to visit or visit restaurants. However, children living separately must visit their parents. In many regions, it is also customary to take “kutya”, that is, sweet rice or wheat porridge with dried fruit, to godparents.

The very next day, the general celebration begins: you can have fun, laugh, visit friends.Young girls can find out their fate by performing a divination ritual.
Despite the fact that Christmas in Russia is becoming an increasingly secular holiday, it is worth remembering that on this night we are reliving a meeting with the divine, leaving in the past intrigues, filling our hearts with light. Do not take this holiday only as an opportunity to eat and get a gift.
festive table

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