A True Russian Christmas
A “true” Russian Christmas like over the world is the celebration of the Birth of the baby Jesus. For Russian Orthodox Christians, this day is extremely Holy.
The Christmas celebrations begin in November, when Lent (Fasting) before Christmas begins. Russian people stop eating any product that comes from an animal with the exception of seafood. Dairy products, CHOCOLATES! and all!
As with other Eastern traditions, Russian Christmas is on the Old Calendar: falling on 7th January- to the Church, this is the 25 December.
On the night of Christmas eve, Russian people go to Church for the Christmas Mass, and then go home. Not much celebrating takes place, rather off to bed, and then up in the morning and straight to church for the Christmas day Liturgy.
After church people will go to the home of one relative so that the family can all be together. Here, the family gives gifts, and have Christmas lunch – the main meal of Christmas. All day the children will go from door to door caroling the song “THY NATIVITY” or “Your Birth”;as will the church choir.
Russians decorate their homes with the Christmas tree as does the west, and often put pine leaves on their front doors, and in the house.
The greeting c Rodzhestvom Kristovom is said – meaning “The Birth of Christ!” – it is a time for families and friends.
Christmas is celebrated for 6 days, and the Chritsmas tree is usually taken down at the end on January after the feast day of the Baptism of Christ.