Christmas time 2019
Christmas time is not a holiday of the same day - it is a traditional religious and ceremonial mixture of events, continuously alternating one after another, which is called "from star to wave." So, it would be more correct to explain how many Christmas holidays 2019 begin and when they end. In 2019 it will be the period opened by the first star of the Orthodox Christmas Eve on January 6 and ending with the consecration and ablutions on the Epiphany Eve on January 18.
history of the holiday
“The etymological origin of the word takes its roots from the word“ sanctify ”, which is what they do during the ritual week, according to another version, the name comes from the deity Svyatovit, in whose honor the holiday was held.”
General fun, frost-reddened faces and greetings from close and distant relatives were not always traditional, but this is one of the oldest holidays. To understand when the holiday was born, you should turn to the classical literature of ethnically Orthodox peoples. Regardless of the origin of the classic and his social status, the heroes of his works, one way or another,took part in this action, which was most clearly described in the works of Tolstoy, Pushkin and especially Gogol.
IMPORTANT! “You also need to know that there are Orthodox Christians only, while other religions of Christianity are absent”
The first written mentions of the holiday are the same age as the baptism of Kievan Rus, and already at that time contemporaries wrote that the holiday was at least 500 years old. The transfer of the one-and-a-half-day celebration to Orthodoxy, as in other similar cases, is a “curtsy” of the pagans, with the goal of spreading Christianity in Russia, but in this case everything is more complicated than it might seem. According to the research of the Russian Museum of Ethnography, the name Svyatovit was a peculiar interpretation of the name of Perun, the supreme deity, symbolizing its cyclicity. At the same time, in ancient Christian manuscripts from IV-VI AD, belonging to the Greek-Catholic Church, namely from Ephrem Sirin, Ambrose of Milan, the celebration of the feasts was already mentioned. Everything falls into place if we recall the similarity of the majority of pagan religions and the frequency of the annual cycle. Christianity, like the most famous of us Greco-Roman paganism, developed in the Mediterranean basin, and there the labor period ended exactly by December.
Christianity began the war with the holy years since the Ecumenical Council, which was held in VI AD. and its result was the emergence of the six-year rule for those who disguised themselves and wondered on this holiday. In Russia, the church also did not remain indifferent, but took an averaged position, not accepting Western dogma, persistently sharing the market for the spread of religion with Catholicism, while rejecting the pagan component of the holiday more gently.
Traditional Christmas time
Christmas time is a folk festival for about two thousand years, during this time a certain sequence of celebratory actions were formed, which follow each other:
- Christmas Eve - occurs on 6.01 and is the day of the end of a strictly fast, which means festivities and fun on this day are strictly prohibited, but it is in it that they cook with kutya (kutya). A dish is a mixture of porridge, which serves as barley, barley, and sometimes rice and honey with dried fruits. In addition to the main dish on the table, there were necessarily apples baked in honey, and symbolic oatmeal cookies made in the form of animals, fish, people and houses. The feast began after the first star ascended to the sky, but before that it was necessary to distribute some of the treats to the poor orphans, and today it will share with neighbors.
- Holy morning is a magical time when you can guess and carol. You already know about the “Christmas trails” and the attitude of the church towards them. Mystical rituals, the purpose of which usually become the names of loved ones, are no different from fortune telling at other times of the year, but with one reservation - the spiritual world is much closer to reality at the junction of years, and therefore white and black magic appear stronger.
- Yule pampering - in its classic form was the scattering of a bunch of firewood from neighbors, the demonstrative theft of some object, for example in the times of the Soviet Union, they were stealing tractors, or home mystical games accompanied by scary stories. They “stole” something only in public and then returned it to the owner. In modern Russia, the tradition is partly reborn in the scattering and generosity on the feast of St. Basil.
- Baptism - is the ritual end of Christmas time. On this day, in the frozen river, masters carve a cross-shaped ice-hole and decorate it with carving on the ice. After the festive service, people are plunged into the hole in order to wash off all the sins committed during the Christmas time. It was baptism that influenced the balanced position of the Orthodox Church regarding the Nativity.
The attitude of the Russian state to the holiday has changed several times, as follows:
- Peter I - for refusing to participate in the punishment with lashes;
- XVIII AD - beat with lashes for participation in Christmas time;
- The Soviet government did not regulate the issue at the state level, but nevertheless tried to make the pagan part of the holiday markedly socialist, insisting that the head of the winter fun was the New Year, which almost killed the tradition in big cities.
- Post-Soviet Russia - even Vladimir Putin likes to participate in the Christmas leapfrog associated with Christmas time.
The modern holiday is widely supported at the state level, and even the Orthodox Church has softened its attitude towards Christians under pressure from the authorities, and therefore it’s not worth worrying about preserving traditions.