What are they doing for Christmas?
Every year, Christians celebrate Christmas - the day when Jesus Christ was born many years ago.
The dates of this event for Orthodox and Catholics are different - in the Orthodox tradition, the holiday falls on January 7, according to the Gregorian calendar, in the Catholic they are considered according to the old style, and they have it on December 25th.
What do Catholics do at Christmas?
For Catholics, this is primarily a family celebration - a time when relatives gather in the same house for a festive dinner, socialize, give Christmas gifts to each other. In the Catholic Church they spend 3 masses - at night, in the morning, in the afternoon; they symbolize the birth of Jesus, first in the bosom of the Father, then in the womb of the Virgin Mary - and in the soul of each person.
However, not everyone goes to worship at Christmas. Unbelievers, too, enjoy celebrating, just spending time with their families and giving presents. For Christmas, they decorate the house with garlands and decorate spruce. The children are eagerly awaiting Santa Claus (Pierre Noel, Joulupukki) - he should come on Christmas night and arrange the presents.For gifts hang holiday socks.
What are Orthodox doing at Christmas?
In contrast to Catholic countries, where Christmas is more secular, in the Orthodox it is treated more strictly. Unbelievers are usually limited to the New Year, and Christmas is not celebrated.
It differs from Catholic countries in the post held by the Orthodox before the holiday. In the Christmas fast you can not eat dairy products, meat and fish - the latter can be eaten on weekends. Banned and alcohol. Catholics during fasting rarely limit themselves to food, just at this time it is customary to visit the temple often, to practice their spiritual life.
The service is held on the night of January 6-7. It lasts until the morning. It consists of Great Compline, Matins and Liturgy.
Let's see how Christmas is going on in other Orthodox countries.
Here there is a special tradition: before Christmas, they harvest or buy badnyak - a bouquet of dried oak branches with yellow autumn leaves and a straw bunch. After the church service, make fires in front of the church and burn a bunch.This is considered a symbol of the fire that the shepherds from Bethlehem made to warm baby Jesus.
All adversity, misfortune and illness are burned in bonfires. If a lot of sparks fly from a bad man, be his master happy.
In the homeland of Christ both Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Christmas. Although the Jerusalem Church celebrates this day with divine services on the night of January 7th. At Christmas, Christians in Israel strive to visit the Basilica of the Nativity of Christ and the cave where Christ was born.
In this country, after the traditional service, Christmas parades begin along the streets, accompanied by singing. During the marches collect gifts, which are then passed to children's shelters.
After the service in the house bring candles. Burning candles on the window mean that the Virgin Mary is always welcome here - after all, in Bethlehem on the night of the birth of Christ there was no shelter for her.
Despite the fact that the country is Orthodox, Christmas is celebrated here in a new style - December 25th. The Greeks have many traditions associated with the holiday - for example, cleaning the fireplace the day before. They clean the chimney, the chimney, from the ash: thus scaring the impure forces from the house.And the children at Christmas are learning carols and going home, singing them and receiving refreshments as a reward.