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Viewings: 4126December 25, 2012, as every year, Catholics - the inhabitants of southern and Northern America, Western Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa celebrates Christmas. In Orthodox countries on December 25, called the Catholic Christmas. This day is the most important Christian and a public holiday in more than 140 countries.
Christmas is celebrated in memory of the birth of innocent Virgin Mary of the son of God Jesus Christ. This event provides the opportunity of salvation and eternal life to believers.
The first information about the celebration of Christmas can be attributed to the 4th century. The question about the true date of Jesus ' birth and at present continues to be controversial and not solved unambiguously among the ecclesiastical writers.
Probably, the choice of date 25 December relates to the solar pagan holiday "birth of the Invincible Sun", the arrival of this day. It is possible that after the adoption of Christianity in Rome, it has acquired a new content.
Christmas involves five days of predprazdnichnoy and six days of poluprostranstve. On the eve of strict fasting, which has received the name eve, because on this day in the food consumed sochivo is cooked with honey barley or wheat grain.
In the 13th century there was the custom to put in the temples of the manger place the figure of the Infant Jesus. After a time, day nurseries were installed not only in sacred places, but in the homes before Christmas. Church and pagan customs - rituals very organically intertwined with each other, complementing each other. For example, ignition in a home ritual fire (the Christmas log), the custom to break Christmas bread", caroling.
One of the most popular elements of Christmas - elegant spruce. This tradition comes from the Germanic tribes with spruce symbolized fertility and life.
With the advent of Christianity, the peoples of Central and Northern Europe began to decorate the tree, placing them in their homes on December 24. Since then, pine beauty found a new symbols into the Paradise tree of abundance.
Why Catholics celebrate Christmas on December 25 and the Orthodox January 7?
Catholic Christmas "is ahead of" Orthodox thirteen days. This happened due to the difference in calendars: Pope Gregory XIII in 1582-year introduced a new, "Gregorian" calendar, which was the definition of "new style".
Julian calendar began to consider the old style. At a time when Europe switched to the Gregorian calendar, Russia continued to use the Julian calendar. In the Soviet Union in 1918 year authorities had imposed the Gregorian calendar, but this decision was not approved by the Church. On the initiative of the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1923 year a meeting was held of the Orthodox Churches, where it was approved the decision to convert the Julian calendar in the "Novoilinskiy calendar.
Due to historical circumstances, the Russian Orthodox Church did not participate in the meeting. However, Patriarch Tikhon was able to issue a decree on transition to "Novoilinskiy calendar, which was taken by the Church people quite negatively. A month later a decree was cancelled.
Thus, Protestants and Catholics living by the Gregorian calendar, celebrate Christmas on December 25. And January 7, Christmas is celebrated Georgian, Jerusalem, Ukrainian, Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches follow the Julian calendar.
Eleven of the local Orthodox Churches of the world celebrate Christmas on December 25, as they use not Catholic Gregorian calendar, and the so-called "Novoilinskiy", which coincides with Gregorian.
Christmas customs and traditions
In the basis of the Christmas tradition to give each other gifts lies the Gospel narrative about the three wise men, who at worship the Baby Jesus presented him with gifts, myrrh, frankincense, and gold. On this day, families get together for Christmas dinner and festive buffet with traditional dishes, which vary depending on the country.
So, in England at Christmas obligatory dishes are the Christmas pudding, poured rum and Turkey sauce gooseberry. In the USA the Christmas table decorated with Turkey, which is supplied exclusively under cranberry sauce. In Ireland for Christmas served ham or Turkey, Germany - roast goose, in Greece - Turkey in wine.
At the festive tables Hungary, Austria, the Balkan countries is never Christmas turkeys, chickens or ducks. There it is considered that this evening any bird can carry out on their wings family happiness. In Luxembourg during Christmas dinner eat apples, blood sausage and sparkling wine. In Belgium consumes a traditional cake, sausage with truffles and wine. The Portuguese for Christmas eat bacalao - a dish of dried cod.
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