How in Russia celebrated Christmas?
Christmas - one of the main annual Christian holidays.
of Tradition and customs to celebrate this great day pass from father to son and are an integral part of original culture of each country. Christmas in Russia began to be celebrated in the 10th century. Day and night before Christmas, a Christmas Eve, celebrated modestly and quietly, and the next days were in Russian cheerful and fervent.
In Christmas Eve it was necessary to prepare for a holiday properly. Early in the morning residents of villages went behind water which this day became curative: it washed and on it kneaded dough for Christmas bread. In the morning the hostess began to kindle the furnace. Before Christmas it became on - special. On customs of ancestors, fire was extracted by a spark cutting, and and kresat flint within 12 days before it lay under images. The hostess was three times christened and, having turned to a rising sun, cut fire, set fire from it to a rod and only after that kindled the furnace in which 12 specially chosen logs lay.
On this fire 12 fast dishes among which were obligatory uzvar - drink from dried fruit and honey and a kolivo - porridge from wheat and barley prepared. The kolivo with honey was called “ sochivy “ from here also occurred “ Christmas Eve “. By the way, ashes from Christmas fire were used in different magic ceremonies. At first adults treated with a kolivo and uzvary pets, children at the same time made the sounds reminding them voices that in new year to them there was nothing bad.
At home it was necessary to build a harvest symbol - a peculiar altar from a sheaf of rye and country tools. Bringing a sheaf in the house, the owner took off a cap and welcomed the hostess as if he saw it for the first time: “ Give, My God, health! “. And the hostess had to answer: “ May god speed you! And what you bear? “. Here the man spoke: “ Gold that all year we lived richly “ stopped in the middle of a log hut, it was christened and wished to a family good luck, health and longevity. After that the sheaf was put under icons, tied up it an iron chain, stacked a ploughshare from a plow and a collar nearby. The hostess got a pure white cloth and covered with it all this construction.
Our far relatives also did not forget about a ceremony of strengthening of health. The head of the family scattered straw on a floor, on a table threw hay, and did a small sheaf which put under a table of hay. On a top of a shock the crock in which the incense was smoked was put. Around it displayed iron tools. All attendees had to touch in turn them by bare feet that health was strong as iron.
And to frighten off evil spirit, spouses bypassed the house and the yard with newly-baked bread, honey and poppy. Poppy was scattered in a shed, and garlic was displayed on all corners.
In the evening in the yard lit a big fire that to the died relatives in the next world too it was warm. Members of household stood near a fire in deep silence, remembering left and praying for them.
Then the child till seven years whose soul was considered innocent and innocent put three baked kalatches, a pinch of salt on the hay lying on a table and put a big wax candle. Only after all these ceremonies it was possible to give on a table. All elegantly put on, and now when already everything in the house is tidied up and ready to a holiday, it was necessary only to wait for emergence in the night frosty sky of the first star. Soon, when ringing children`s voices announced emergence of a star, it was possible to begin to have supper.
The first the father, behind it - mother, and children on a seniority sat down to a table. The owner, having taken a kolivo spoon, said a prayer for the late relatives. Was considered that their souls this day arrive on the earth and all see. Therefore especially for them put plates with an entertainment too. During a dinner nobody, except the hostess, was allowed to get up, and it was necessary to talk quietly and peaceful.
But cheerful voices of youth, asking " are soon already heard; to proskazat a Christmas carol “:
Christmas carol, Christmas carol!
Came a Christmas carol
On the eve of Christmas:
We went, we looked for
the Christmas carol sacred
On all yards,
On all pro-small streets …
in conclusion of the song going round carol-singing which go to glorify Christ, congratulate owners on approach of a holiday, and wish all benefits. Hospitable owners immediately take out to singers at whom one person specially goes with a bag, some entertainments. So carolers, accompanied by noisy children, traveled around all village.
All hurried with the first morning blow of a bell in church on festive church service. After matins the youth arranged the dashing drivings from mountains on skis and sledge which are followed by cheerful laughter and songs.
Now the holiday table abounded with any delicacies: traditionally cooked jelly, a dairy pig, roast chicken, the pork head with horse-radish, sausage and honey gingerbreads.
From the second day of a holiday, in the evenings, new entertainments - processions masked began. The set to the people, changed clothes for the clothes turned inside out, in masks, sang songs and danced not only in villages, but also on city squares.
For Christmas liked to organize various parties, conversations, visited to each other, and, of course, did not do without fortune-telling.