The Orthodox Christians adopted Christmas Eve — the night before Christmas — to carry the temple for prayers. Preparing for Christmas celebrations in Russia strictly abide by one important rule — thoroughly cleaned the house. Well, maybe not so thoroughly as to Easter, but still scraped flooring, rubbed to a Shine pots-pans, cleaned the silverware. The house is decorated with Christmas tree.
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Traditional Christmas colors — red and green, and in creating a festive mood, you can rely on them. Favorite symbols of the holiday, angels, donkeys, a manger with a baby, the star of Bethlehem. Catholics usually hung on walls and doors with Christmas wreaths from straw and pine branches, we have more accustomed Christmas bouquets. In the decoration of the house must attend to the candles. They give a special warmth and charm to the whole atmosphere of the new year holiday, symbolizing the Sun, and Christmas candles — the light of Christ. In Russia the New year and for Christmas made a special pillar candles that were lit in the evening and burned until the outcome of the next day. Since January 7, the post ends and to break the fast should probably in a big way. At the Christmas table will certainly in abundance should be meat, fish, wine and sweets. Traditional dishes for this holiday, jelly, dumplings, roasted pig with horseradish, soup of sauerkraut, meat pies, rice or jam. Before a solemn dinner early filed "fat pudding" — crispy rice or wheat cereal with raisins and honey, drizzled with melted butter.
Although Christmas and purely a family holiday, a great sin is to refuse to treat happened to be near troubled people. Of course, to call them for the home table may not be worth it, but it is easy to include a few pies and a handful of candy to the nearest Church. Or to give the neighborhood kids a candy bar — also not a burden.
Especially for elderly relatives, call the person and ask healthy. Traditionally at Christmas brought edible gifts, not only in Orthodox but also in the Catholic world: good and homemade candies, and jars of jams-pickles, and cakes. Of any suitable non-edible toys and Souvenirs, winter accessories like mittens or scarves and other small items.
They say that on Christmas night it is necessary to wear something new, and if is not, then at least one item of white. In addition, it is known that right after Christmas comes Boxing day, when you can dress up in all sorts of costumes.
Before the first star on Christmas Eve usually sit in silence and think. Fortunately, in the winter the first star appears in the sky fairly early, about half past five in the evening. Then we need to sit down, drink, eat and go to the street to sing songs, to play snowballs and sledding. Welcome the fiery fun of the type of salutes and fireworks, and the bypass neighbors in order to call to have fun together.
Christmas eve, Christmas carols, also called Christmas eve. The name derives from the custom of Orthodox Christians to use this day eating sochivo — dried cereal grain soaked in water, simply put — a mess. The sochivo is not only called porridge and all sorts of vegetable food, and juice; or, as discussed earlier, the "milk" of different seeds: poppy, sesame, sunflower, mustard, peanut, almond and others. This "milk" seasoned porridge during the 40-day. the fast before Christmas and on Christmas eve.
The sochivo started the meal on Christmas and Epiphany eves, home, christening, funeral, the only difference is that this mess was different.
On Christmas eve the Orthodox boiled Christmas pudding, the Catholics — Bigelow. Christmas pudding cooked vegetable. But on the second day of Christmas was prepared "Babin mess", or "Babkin pudding". Such porridge in ancient times used to bring in the number of gifts to the house, where there was a newborn. Unlike Christmas Lenten Kuti "the grandmother porridge" prepared "rich". Christmas eve is the evening meal on Christmas eve, accompanied by many traditions and rituals. On Christmas eve the Church was attributed to a strict fast until Vespers, and that day is the first meal that ends the pre-Christmas post.
By tradition it starts with the appearance of the first star, in memory of the star of Bethlehem announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ. "On Christmas Eve, Christmas happened, the star did not eat, had described the Russian émigré writer I. S. Shmelev custom of celebrating Christmas in the story "Summer of the Lord." The kutia is cooked wheat with honey; stewed fruit — prunes, pears, sheptali... Put the image on the hay. Why?.. And if the gift of Christ. Well... if He is in the manger, in the manger. Sometimes, waiting for the stars, I will wipe all the Windows... the First star, and there's another way... On the black sky and boils from the light, shaking, flickering. And what stars!.. Mustachioed, live, fight, prick eyes. In the air-merzloty, some stars are large, different lights Shine, blue crystal, and blue and green — scapes. And will hear ringing. And if it stars ringing! Frosty, hollow, straight, silver... In the Kremlin hit — an ancient bell, staid, glucotrol. And then — tight silver as velvet call. And they did, thousands of churches plays.
You will not hear this, no. No Easter, no chime, and lays bells, leather silver, the song without end-the beginning... — the hum and buzz.
Already in the fourth century was established the Orthodox Church, how to celebrate Compline of the Nativity. In the V century, Anatoly, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and then Anatoly and Sophronius (VI), Mayski Cozma and John of Damascus (VIII century) wrote for the celebration of Christmas sacred chants which the Church currently celebrates celebrate the event. In Compline has long been committed Royal Hours, so called due to the fact that they were supposed to proclaim the longevity of the king, to all the reigning house and all Orthodox Christians.
Prepare to worthily celebrate the Nativity of Christ believers of the forty days Christmas fast — Filippov. In churches in the evening was a solemn service, and those who did not go to worship, preparing for the rising stars of the house. By this time all family members were dressed up for the occasion and gathered together, the table was laid with a white cloth, served the best utensils, Cutlery, lined with traditional dishes. Dishes were 13 at the table had to take an even number of people. In the case, when going to an odd number, there was one free instrument. Under the cloth on the entire surface of table was spread hay, symbolizing the hay, where in a manger lay the newborn Christ. The table was decorated with branches of spruce, candles, ribbons. In the center of the table was an arrangement of fir branches, candles and other Christmas attributes. In the corner of the room or in its center was set a lovingly decorated Christmas tree, under it put a gift to everyone present. In peasant families waiting for the stars all together recited the prayer, the elder told the children about the birth of Christ, the Magi, bearing gifts.
The first stars was looking forward to children, their joyful message about her appearance was the signal for the start of the meal. The meal began with prayer, then the most respected member of the family is female (usually the hostess) has congratulated all on a holiday. The Catholic ceremony begins with the exchange of wafer — bread the symbol of wealth and prosperity. The lady of the house first, shared the wafer with her husband, then the sons in order of seniority, then with the daughters too, the eldest, grandchildren and everyone else. This ceremony ended, when all present exchanged wafer, wishing each other merry Christmas, forgiving all wrongs. It was a moment of universal reconciliation. The Orthodox meal began with a reception Kuti. Catholics its presence was not mandatory. Boiled Christmas pudding from wheat, peas, rice, peeled barley. Seasoned with honey, poppy, hemp, sunflower or other vegetable oil. The grain was a symbol of reviving life, and honey or sweet seasoning meant the sweetness of the benefits of a future blissful life.
Eating was regulated by strict rules: first, fed snacks (herring, fish, salads), then red (slightly warmed) soup, mushroom or fish soup. For borscht, mushroom soup was served ears or pies with mushrooms, and the Orthodox juicy — fried hemp oil flour tortillas. At the end of the meal on the table was served sweet dishes: strudel with poppy seeds, cakes, honey, and cranberry kissel, compote from dried fruits, apples, nuts.
At the table everyone had to taste all the prepared dishes. Not allowed the manifestation of their individual tastes. Such a requirement is a good educational moment for children. The meal was nonalcoholic. All the dishes were lean, fried and seasoned with vegetable oil, meat without basis, without milk and cream. Was not served hot dishes that the mistress constantly was behind a table.
During the meal, was conducted a casual conversation just about good deeds. Despite the fact that it was purely a family holiday, it was considered necessary to invite to the table of single friends, neighbors (regardless of their religion). At the table sat every casual visitor, including a beggar. There was a belief that on this day in the form of a beggar may stand God. In General, all religious holiday traditions was aimed at strengthening the humanity, and friendliness to each other and to the environment. On Christmas eve, the master congratulates Pets, brought food, and homeless animals (on the porch, over the threshold, exhibited a bowl of food).
Then began the fun part of Christmas is gift giving. In the presence of children and one of the household dressed in a Santa Claus — St. Nicholas. He also brought gifts in the bag. Giving them expressed wishes, according to the necessary requirements to be met by the receivers. For children it was a good educational moment, in relation to adults it was painted with a share of jokes. In General most of the Trad-tions and rituals of Christmas was aimed at instilling in children self-discipline, attention to audience, adherence to and participation in the ritual side, patience, endurance. It was one of the few occasions when children sit at a table with adults. And as for gifts, it was a good custom of giving them to each other, moreover, valued the gifts prepared by their own hands. They are elegant were decorated with colored paper, fir twigs, ribbons. The contents of the gifts was supposed to be a surprise. Everything was covered with mystery and uplifting. Gifts immediately unfolded, the joy and gratitude to the hostess and to each other filled the hearts of all.
Pads, Carols, Wicket — small loaves of rye unleavened dough with various fillings, liqueurs, spreads or propecai.
Ingredients: for the dough: 1 Cup wheat flour, 1 Cup rye flour, 0.25 Cup water 0.25 Cup milk 0.25 Cup sour milk or yogurt, 0.25 Cup sour cream, vegetable oil, salt; for the filling: 7-8 potatoes, 2-3 tbsp. tablespoons vegetable oil, salt, 500 gr. fresh mushrooms or 100 g. dried, 1-2 tbsp. tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 onion, dill or parsley, salt, 500 gr. cottage cheese, 1-2 tbsp. spoons of sugar.
The dough: Mix the flour, water, milk, yogurt and sour cream, a little salt and knead the dough. Cover with cloth and let stand 20 minutes.
The filling: peel the potatoes, wash and boil in salted water. Mash potatoes into a puree, add butter and mix thoroughly. Clean the mushrooms, wash and boil. Slice mushrooms and saute in butter. Separately fry chopped onion. Mix the mushrooms with onions, salt and keep on fire for 10-15 minutes. Cool and mix with chopped greens.
Curd wipe through a sieve, add sugar and stir. Form the dough into a sausage and cut into equal pieces and roll into pellets. Put in a pellet stuffing and close up. Put Christmas carols on a baking sheet, place in a preheated 200-220 degree oven and bake until tender. Carols of the finished grease.published