Merry Christmas in Russian: Schastlivogo Rozhdestva. When we approach the theme of Christmas, we often differentiate Christmas from Catholic tradition, which is celebrated on December 25, from the Orthodox, celebrated on January 7. Such differentiation of dates has clear explanations that are not related to religion.
On January 6 the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas Eve, the eve of Christmas.
At night, at ten o’clock in Moscow, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russias (currently, Cyril) conducts the traditional Christmas ceremony in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, located in the center of the Russian capital. The festive religious service consists of the All-Night Vigil and the liturgy and usually lasts about five hours.
On the morning of January 7, the Patriarch celebrates the liturgy in a Muscovite monastery.
How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian?
Merry Christmas: Schastlivogo Rozhdestva
According to the traditions of the Orthodox Church, the Christmas holiday is preceded by a 40-day abstinence period that begins on November 28 and lasts until January 6. The tradition is originally from the fourth century, although initially, the withdrawal period was much shorter, about 7 days. The duration of 40 days was established in the ecumenical council of 1166.
The withdrawal period of Advent is one of the strictest of the year. The ecclesiastical statutes prohibit, in addition to other traditional products in periods of abstinence, such as dairy or meat, oils and wine on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and allow food without oils only after the Vespers Mass. You can accompany the meal with oil on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Fish is allowed on Saturdays and Sundays only or at large religious holidays if they fall on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The physical diet is combined with a spiritual fast. Orthodox people should pray, confess, refrain from passions and vices and not participate in any kind of fun.
On January 6, believers fast throughout the day and at ten at night they go to the church to celebrate Christmas Eve. Only after the first star appears, as a symbol of the star of Bethlehem, can you eat Sochivo, a special dish from which the same Russian name of Christmas Eve comes from “Sochelnik”.
The Sochivo is prepared with wheat and poppy grains, nuts and honey. Each food has its own symbolic meaning: wheat grains are associated with the Resurrection, honey with health and a sweet life and poppy grains with a life of abundance of the whole family.
Throughout the centuries the Russians have celebrated Christmas with Christmas fights, Christmas mysteries, and public songs. One of the most popular entertainments is called “Pugilatos”. The “Pugilatos” are public fights to fists dedicated to the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. In pre-revolutionary Russia, this struggle was an integral part of public holidays.
This type of old Russian entertainment is not limited only to fights. You can also participate in traditional games of Russian peasants: balance competitions, agility, and physical power, fighting in groups, and many others. After the festive fights, the participants sing old Russian folk songs.
The representations of the Christmas mysteries, which appeared in Russia in the middle of the 17th century, solidly occupied one of the main positions in the celebrations of this time of year. The organizers of modern shows try to be faithful to traditions.
The main theme of the shows is, of course, the story of the birth of the Child Jesus. The puppet theater is represented in a two-story wooden shed, which resembles its medieval puppet wink by its structure. The same shows are very different but their integral part always draws on stories about how Christmas is celebrated all over the world: in Italy, Poland, Spain, etc.
How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian? (Schastlivogo Rozhdestva)
Posted by Daily News Gallery on Friday, December 13, 2019