Rus Articles Journal

Christmas customs and ceremonies of

On the Christmas Eve (on December 24 / on January 6), day of the most strict post and the eve of Christmas, simple people and clergy did not eat the whole day, waiting for emergence of the first, “Bethlehem“ star which announced Christ Redeemer`s birth. During a dinner with the empress in Christmas Eve the great commander Suvorov to whom, on slanders of envious persons, the empress detained grant of a star, Andrew the First-Called`s award also used this fact. When sat down at a table, Suvorov did not even remove a napkin from a plate. The monarchess, having noticed it, asked the reason.

- the Star I do not see

, your Majesty, - Suvorov answered.

the Empress having grinned, rose from - for a table, took the Andreevsky star and put to Suvorov on a plate, having told:

- Well, you will eat now, the count.

differ with

In Christmas ceremonies a kolivo poor and rich. Poor (or fast) the kolivo is carried out to a Christmas Eve, rich in New Year`s (and sometimes and to a baptism). The kolivo usually cooks from wheat grains; but in certain cases its preparation varies. So, in the Vologda province, the kolivo was prepared from peas with wheat with juice impurity from a hempy seed or honey.

Along with a kolivo obligatory part of a sochelnichesky meal. Pancakes have a wide circulation as a sochelnichesky dish. In the Vladimir province pancakes began to bake in Christmas Eve since morning and presented with them going round carol-singing. Oat flour and kissel meet also among dishes.

However with the end of an era of Peter I the custom of the decorated fir-tree was almost forgotten by

. It returned, first of all to noble houses, in the second half 19 - go centuries.

at the very end of 19 - go centuries appear in the capital Russian cities numerous fir-tree markets. One of the main in Moscow - on Theatre Square (directly before the Bolshoi Theatre). The choice of a fir-tree was special tradition, with walk on a market and almost obligatory purchase sbitnya and a kalatch.

Christmas Holiday then coped in houses solemnly. Preparations of a fir-tree, as a rule, disappeared from younger children in a family. It was decorated or kanonichno after a night service, or (in more liberal families) to a night service, but access to it was not. The fir-tree was given short weight children`s toys which distributed to them after entertainments. One of the St. Petersburg rich men ordered “An artificial Christmas tree 3,5 arshins high which was twisted with the road matter and tapes. The top of a fir-tree was speckled by ribbons of different flowers; its top branches were covered with expensive toys and jewelry: earrings, rings and rings; lower branches in the flowers and candies and various fruit. The room where there was a fir-tree, was lit with big fires; everywhere splendor and luxury shone. After an entertainment of children, music played. Upon termination of evening, let to break children from a fir-tree, all that hung on it.

to Children was allowed to get on a tree; who is quicker also lovchy, that has the right to take itself(himself) everything that will get, but as the fir-tree was high, and not many ventured to get, they were helped by their sisters; they substituted chairs and pointed to the most tempting for them things. This fir-tree cost about 50000 rubles“.

Obligatory. In large noble families game in “transfer“ was traditional (gifts were wrapped in several layers of paper. It was necessary to develop gradually, transferring a gift to that whose name appeared on the next wrapper). After a nightlong candle on a fir-tree lit for children, but for a while. Children`s holidays were arranged for the second and third day.

“Suits“ on children`s holidays were distributed to children by hosts. Often it was only the paper headdress (a cap, a hat, a cocked hat, a jockey cap). It was not necessary to change suits.

“visits“ were obligatory for

For men in the first days of Christmas (from below up related and a social ladder).“ Visit“ lasted no more than 10 - 15 minutes and included a congratulation from the guest and an entertainment (it is frequent also a gift) from owners.

However, gifts were given not only to children. The eve of Christmas and the Christmas-tide were considered as days of special charity and compassion in relation to those who are deprived for any reasons of an opportunity to be involved in festival. These days tried to visit patients, to go to prisons with gifts. In days when the Lord gives Himself in image human, there has to be an internal readiness for generosity, for desire to help persons in need.

the Fir-tree in merchant and petty-bourgeois houses dressed up not in advance, and in the first day of Christmas. From the first day of Christmas in custom there were campaigns to each other “with a congratulation“ (as well as at noblemen, from below up a social ladder).

Christmas was celebrated by

In merchant and petty-bourgeois houses a little differently. Till a holiday, on the Nativity Fast, in the house the fish table dominated. For well-founded - a beluga, sturgeon, a pike perch, a navaga. For more poor - a herring, a somovin, the bream. For more wealthy buyers on the Christmas table - pigs, the bird (sold often by the piece, but not on weight) and a game.

the Holiday was always thought of the person spiritualized: it “came“, “left“, he was met and seen off. It was represented by any real symbols including live personification. At the end of a holiday they were destroyed solemnly. Endured by a deity - the holiday “passions“ is and there is a moment of his death and revival. Therefore the main element of all ritual action - the ritual meal - as the main course usually included the deity as spoke in the 19th century, “an animal image of god“. On a Christmas-tide it is a fried pig or a boar, a solar deity. Pork became a symbol of a Christmas table. Pork hulks were much brought to Moscow of the last century by wagon trains. One of charitable ceremonies of future first meal after fast - distribution of pork “splinters“ (small pieces of frozen pork) poor and poor. The dying and reviving god, the holiday embodiment, in ritual food symbolically was destroyed and revived in the person. In it there was the main festive act.

In the Russian ceremonialism the pig as a ceremonial animal of the main thing rozhdestvensko - Epiphany festival of Christians got a nickname of the Saint Vasily Kesaretsky celebrated on January 1. Kesaretsky a pig enters a circle of sacrificial animals, and symbolically it meant fertility, wealth, wellbeing in human life.“ For January 1 in each family prepares six-month-old or several months porosuk whom fry by all means whole, whatever size it was. In the evening this day all house gather, put a candle before an icon, pray to Vasyl Veliky and when pray the owner silt the senior in the house separates to himself the head of a pig, then breaks, but does not razrezyvat roast and distributes to all in parts, depending on age. It is called “kesaretsky to break“... Having eaten meat, collect bones, carry in “swine“ and throw to pigs. It is done by the hostess of the house“.

the post was observed by

In merchant and petty-bourgeois families more strictly, than in noble including the custom is not to “the first star“. Food of Christmas Eve - the kolivo and stewed fruit, were put under icons on a laying from hay. They were used to the Night service.

After the Night service - a ceremony of “glorification of Christmas“. Moscow born and bred did not use the word “go round carol-singing“, - said “to glorify“.

several glorifications options, for example Existed:

One of the questions which are permanently concerning the modern reader that was given for Christmas in pre-revolutionary Russia. The answer can be absolutely short: “All!“ it is also as much vast if to begin to describe immense opportunities of Muscovites in acquisition of souvenirs. Any special norms on this subject did not exist unless in separate families there could be own traditions passing from father to son.

So, for example, knows that on a name-day, Christmas and Easter imperial daughters were usually given on one pearl and one diamond. Thus, to majority at everyone had to be on a string of ideally equal pearls and on a diamond necklace. On the birth gave obrazk of tezoimenny Saints. When the imperial family was shot, removed everything from them, except obrazk and baptismal crosses.

By the end 19 - go centuries the tradition of donation of cards arose. In 1843 the Englishman drew with Horslya the first Christmas card, one thousand copies to which it was sold that year in London.

the First greeting card appeared in Russia by Easter of 1897, and already in a couple of years the market was glutted by hundreds of various easter and Christmas plots. Before inhabitants congratulated the neighbors on all holidays on special cards with a flower ornament and only one word “I congratulate“ to which special envelopes were published. However the majority of cards was issued and the text for all times “I congratulate“.

With release of Russian-speaking greeting cards the domestic range becomes the most various in Europe. By winter holidays of a card were printed with three types of inscriptions:“ Merry Christmas Christoff“, “Happy New Year“ and “Merry Christmas Christoff! Happy New Year“.

the Russian plots were extremely various

: charming kids Bem, Lebedeva - Anokhina and Lavrov with texts from the Russian proverbs, Zvorykin and Verov`s playful rural sketches, Karazin`s peasants, young ladies of the 18th century of Ploshinsky. The Russian churches, winter landscapes, pads of fir-trees were much represented. Published in the majority in the lithographic way, often powdered with spangles or davleny, cards became at once attractive to persons interested to find not too expensive gift.