Today at every glance it glows
joy bright and great;
a wonderful song is sung
the ground was white.
And in every house nice
lit tiny candle,
as if his flame were alen
from the star is lit. 
"Christmas" by Grigor Ugarov


Christmas (25 December) is one of the holiest and most awaited Christian holidays. It is a wonderful occasion for family reunification and teaches people to be kind to themselves and loved ones. Christmas is also called Christmas or Christmas. On this day, a name day is celebrated by all who say: Christo, Christina, Chrissimira, Christomir or Christopher. This is also the day that marks the end of fasting, but also initiates the so-called. "Dirty days".

According to old beliefs, then karakondzhuli and evil spirits go out. From superstition and to prevent evil, in the past, people have obeyed many prohibitions. Through "Dirty days" they should not go outside before singing their first roosters, and women should not do chores, including sewing, washing, weaving, etc. Sexual intercourse was also forbidden because of a belief that stated that if a woman conceived during the "dirty days", the child would become a bad person. And if a baby was born, the 24 hours had to be sewn with a shirt to keep him from evil spirits or turn into a karakondzhul.

Christmas customs, traditions and beliefs

At Christmas, the whole family goes to church, and after the solemn service, they gather for a festive lunch. This old tradition is still observed today by many families. A variety of dishes are served on the table - pigs are slaughtered, various meat dishes are cooked, and blood is fed. Relatives gather and honor the holiday with fun, laughter, people and a cheerful mood.
At one time, people had a lot of faith. Through them, they tried to predict what was coming for them, good or bad. Here are some of them:

If the Nativity of Christ happens on Monday, it heralds winter to be cold and long, spring and summer are rainy and autumn is dry. The land will be poorly fertile, but the rulers happy.

If Christmas falls on Tuesday, winter will bring a lot of snow and spring will bring a lot of rain. In this case, sea travel should have been avoided.

If Christmas is celebrated on Wednesday, it means winter will be cold and long and spring will be dry. There will be fertility. Peace will reign.

If Christmas happened on Thursday, people believed winter would be mild and warm, and spring and summer windy. Managers will change frequently. There will be lots of fruit, but some honey and vegetables.

If Christmas comes on a Friday, winter will be very cold, summer very rainy and autumn dry. The winegrowers will enjoy good grapes and the governing will enjoy a lot of success.

If Christmas falls on a Saturday, the belief is that there will be a lot of snow in winter, a lot of rain in summer and spring will be windy. The year will be marked by natural disasters and the harvest will not enjoy fertility.

If Christmas is celebrated on Sunday, it heralds a mild winter, a dry summer and a windy autumn. There will be fertility, but also problems for the rulers.

How the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree originated

ChristmasCenturies ago, on the eve of Christmas, Christians also honored another holiday, the one of the first people the Lord created - Adam and Eve.

The holiday was celebrated with lavish celebrations and religious performances that told the life of Adam and Eve. One of the performances was dedicated to the very moment when Eve cut off the forbidden fruit. Because the holiday is celebrated in winter, apple trees have no leaves or fruit. So people used an evergreen tree that they decorated with apples.

Over time, the tradition of decoration has become more festive. People began decorating the Christmas tree with candles, dried sweets and garlands. And the apples were first dipped in sugar syrup and then applied to the tree. The star that adorns the top of the Christmas tree was put to remind the night that the Son of Jesus Christ was born. Then a bright star rises in the sky above Bethlehem and announces the birth of the baby, which the ancient prophets predicted would become the Savior of humanity.

And so, two festivals merge into one, and the ritual of decorating a fir tree has won the hearts of people from all over the world.
In our day, sweets and apples have been replaced by Christmas toys and balls, but the tradition of having a Christmas tree in every home has not only survived completely, but it brings genuine joy to people.

Christmas. The songs of the carols

One of the most enjoyable moments that enhance the Christmas spirit is the songs of the Christmas carols coming from different houses. The carols begin their tour when it strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, that is, when it is assumed that the Son of God is already born. They must enter every home. If the village is large, they are divided into several groups (or troops) of 11-12 people. Smoke thunder marks the beginning of the festive tour. At the front of the group, little boys walk. They are called "cats". They meow and knock on the gates to know the arrival of the carols. At the back of the group are two other younger boys called "donkeys". They collect the gifts the housekeepers offer.

The boys who choose to feast on should be young people. Caressing itself is a kind of ritual, which will give the students a higher social status; thought to be reaching adulthood, making them capable of building a home and starting a family. The leader of the carols is called a stanchion and he has the role of mentor. Under his guidance, the songs are learned.
Calendars have an extremely rich repertoire of songs. They are wishes for health, strength, prosperity, fertile year, posterity, joy and good luck to every member of the family.

Their subject matter is adapted to the age and social status of the family members they are visiting. In some areas, a special fertility dance is performed. Tradition instructs the host to supply the calendars with brandy and wine, meat, dried fruits, nuts, flour; money is also given. Finally, the girl in the house gives her cow to the "stanenika". The culminating moment comes when the carols sing the Christmas blessing. It is a story of the long and difficult journey of the carolers in the land of their ancestors.
Collected gifts from caroling are divided into two. With one half the carols indulge in feasting and fun; the other part is sold, and the money earned is donated to a school, library or community center.

photo: Bulgarian Ethnography

photo: Bulgarian Ethnography

Where does Christmas come from?

The origin of Christmas is a broad, controversial and long-discussed topic. The most common statement is that Christmas comes from Roman calendars. The interesting thing is that calendars aren't really holidays. They were commemorated on the first day of the month in the Roman calendar, when people had to pay their taxes. According to St. John Chrysostom, Christmas is eight days before the January calendar, that is, before the 1 January. One of the most plausible interpretations of the origin of the Nativity is given in The Short History of the Bulgarian Slavic People, written in 1972 by Spiridon Jerosimonach. It describes Christmas as a holiday of Bulgarian origin, dating from the 8th century BC.

The original Christmas was perceived as an independent holiday celebrated by people with eating, drinking and fun. Later, under the influence of Christianity, the December 25 accepts much of the symbolism of Christmas, which is why it is celebrated as a big and bright holiday that does not work, people go to church, gather at a table, play people.

Christmas Eve brings a sense of awakening in anticipation of the birth of the Son of God. That is why it is called Christmas. Many still believe that on the eve of 24 versus 25 December, the sky opens and merges with the human world. There is a belief that at midnight, if you think of a wish, it will come true. In anticipation of Christmas, a meal is served at the table, where pita, bread and wine must be present. The pie should have the symbols circle, cross and rosette. Other agricultural symbols such as plow, carts or animals may be added.

What to put on Christmas table. Here are some interesting ideas:

Christmas table• Bloodthirsty
• Pork roast (pork steaks in the oven)
• Sauerkraut sprinkled with red pepper
• Kapamo layout
• Roasted pig
• Herb (cabbage with cabbage)
• Homemade pickle
• Classic potato salad
• Kebab in pumpkin
• Pegs
• Roasted turkey
• Cabbage rolls
• Christmas cookies
• Pumpkin pastry

Finally, we offer an easy recipe for Christmas cookies:

Necessary products
About 1 kg of flour
2 h sugar
3 eggs
3 honey (optional)
1 h yoghurt
3 / 4 hours oil
1 / 2 bicarbonate of soda
1 cinnamon (optional)
1 batching machine
1-2 vanilla
grated 1 lemon peel
About 250 g. Nuts (optional)

Method of preparation
First you mix yogurt with baking soda. The eggs break and break with the sugar. Add vanilla, yogurt, butter, honey and grated lemon peel. The resultant is broken by a mixer to give a homogeneous mixture. Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon gradually, stirring constantly until a thick, sticky dough forms. You can optionally let the dough stand for about 4 hours and then split it into two balls and roll it out, and using different shapes to cut pieces of it. The dough may not stay. If you choose this option, with small hands, tear small pieces out of the dough and shape them into small balls. Arrange them on a tray with baking paper pre-loaded. Put the cookies in a preheated oven and bake at 150 degrees for about 40-45 min until red.

Merry Christmas! Be at peace with yourself! Love and be loved!

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