What to do on Christmas Eve and when it comes – read on UNIAN.
Christmas Eve is the last day before the great Christian holiday of Christmas, which all Christians rejoice in. This day is given for spiritual and physical preparation for the feast of the birth of Christ. This is the last day that the Nativity Fast is observed. Christmas Eve is celebrated on January 6th.
The very name of the holiday comes from the word “sychivo” – wheat grains soaked with juice from the seeds. In the old days, they were treated to juice on Christmas Eve after the appearance of the first star in the sky.
Read more about what to do on Christmas Eve and when Christmas comes in Ukraine on UNIAN.
How Christmas Eve is celebrated – history and church services
Year after year Christmas Eve is celebrated on January 6 – the day before the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. People cook juicy and treat themselves to them after the first star appears. This tradition arose on the basis of the legend about the appearance of the Bethlehem star, which informed people about the birth of Christ. That is why believers fast until this day.
Until the end of Vespers, it is necessary to observe a strict fast and refrain from food of animal origin. If you are taking Communion at the night liturgy, then the last meal should be no later than six hours before Communion.
At the end of the liturgy, the priests carry a candle to the center of the church and sing the troparion to the Nativity of Christ. Christmas Vigil lasts about three hours, then the liturgy is served, and only then comes the celebration of Christmas.
Historian and religious scholar Igor Kozlovsky tells:
Christmas Eve is a huge topic. The Nativity Fast comes to an end and the preparation itself ends on this day – it was believed that a person should fast strictly until dinner. And for this, special food is prepared in accordance with the traditions. On Christmas Eve, not only the whole family gathers, but also the ancestors. We know that it is a tradition among Ukrainians to sit down carefully at the table. There is even such a belief that it is necessary to blow in order not to sit on the soul of some deceased. You also need to lay a clean tablecloth. Women prepare food, improve everything in the house, because on this Christmas Eve we must not forget about the cattle, it also needs to be fed so that it does not take offense and does not tell the Lord that it is being poorly looked after. She should be given fresh hay if you have a cow … feed the pigs.
At the same time, the expert focuses on the fact that there is no such thing as “Orthodox” or “Catholic” Christmas. All Christians celebrate it on December 25, but only in different styles – either Gregorian, Julian or New Julian.
Most of the world’s Orthodox Christians are celebrated as Catholics and Protestants. Only four or five Orthodox churches are celebrating according to the old style. And everything: the Ecumenical Church, the Church of Greece, – they are all Orthodox, they all celebrate December 25, because they switched to the New Julian style, which coincides with the Gregorian one. And we still remain (to celebrate January 7 – UNIAN). Here the question is rather personal. As each person decides for himself.
– is talking Igor Kozlovsky.
What to do on Christmas Eve – celebration traditions
How to celebrate Christmas Eve correctly – traditions / depositphotos.com
In ancient times, people celebrated Christmas Eve, observing the main covenants of the holiday – they put up a magnificent Christmas tree, decorated it with stars, and under it they put a nativity scene – a kind of cave where the Lord was born. The Slavs prepared gifts in advance, and not only for their relatives, but also for strangers.
Read alsoWeekends for Christmas and New Year 2022: how many days of rest will Ukrainians getCharity was an integral part of the holiday, so on January 6 it was customary to give out your things to those in need and give alms. In addition, the Orthodox Church recommends confessing on this day, then you will be able to celebrate the Nativity of Christ with a pure soul and thoughts.
Since ancient times, believers have staged colorful performances, changed into costumes and played out the birth of Christ. The theater could also be a puppet theater – everything depended on the desire, capabilities and traditions that Christians honor.
Igor Kozlovsky reminds that on Christmas Eve it is very important to prepare two dishes that personify the symbols of birth and death:
- “Kutia” is a symbol of death, such a treat has long been a memorial. In the old days, it was cooked with grated poppy seeds, raisins, barley or wheat. Now they cook from rice – this is a violation of tradition. The historian jokes about this:
Traditionally, kutya was cooked from the grain that grows on this land, because they knew their ancestors. We do not live in China, and therefore to cook from rice, it means that your ancestors are Chinese.
- Uzvar is a symbol of birth, in Russia it was given to women in labor. You need to cook it yourself and this is considered a mandatory tradition.
On the table there can also be lean dumplings, fish or borsch with crucian carp. A total of 12 Lenten meals are prepared on Christmas Eve. The main thing is not to use oil or cook meat dishes. If we go back to talking about kutya, then there is no need to eat it. Rather, it is a symbolic dish that is left on the windowsill or table for the ancestors to treat themselves to. It is also customary to wear kutya as godfathers.
What you can and cannot do on Christmas Eve – signs and prohibitions of the day
One of the most important traditions of the holiday, in addition to the above, is considered caroling… Despite the fact that carols were popular in pre-Christian times, the church does not prohibit them.
Strongly forbidden on Christmas Eve wear dark clothes – it is better to choose something light and freshly washed. Swear and quarrel it is also impossible, the atmosphere of the holiday is joyful, and the energy is strong, so if you violate the ban, you risk incurring trouble.
To guess it is also impossible – the church has a very categorical opinion on this matter. It is believed that all attempts to find out the future are from the evil one. For a believer, such actions are a sin. Not worth it do household chores: wash, sew, clean. The only exception is cooking for the holiday.
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