What is Christmas? What is Christmas for children
For billions of people on the planet Earth, Christmas is a significant and bright, truly great holiday. It is traditionally celebrated throughout the Christian world in honor of the birth of the infant Jesus in the city of Bethlehem. According to the new style - December 25 (Catholics), the old - January 7 (Orthodox), but the essence is one: a holiday dedicated to Christ - that's what Christmas is! This is an opportunity to save all of humanity that came to us with the birth of a little Jesus.
What is Christmas for Catholics? This is the most revered holiday. The Catholic Church considers it even above Easter, highlights the physical birth of Christ, which enabled the atonement of universal sins. For Orthodox Christians, the feast is second in importance after the Resurrection. In the first place, the spiritual birth is the resurrection and ascension of the Teacher to heaven.
What is Christmas? The description of the origin of the feast is well known to us from the Gospel. Maria lived with her parents in Nazareth (Galilee). She was born when her parents, Joachim and Anna, were already in the years, became a welcome and late child. When Mary was three years old, she was taken to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, where she was raised in piety. When it was time to marry, they found her God-fearing and righteous husband - a carpenter Joseph. Mary and Joseph were engaged.
The Appearance of the Archangel
Once Maria goes to the spring for water. She is an angel who proclaims the future birth of a baby from the Holy Spirit. There will be that baby of a male, and he is destined to die for the sins of the human race, taking upon himself the redemption and purification. The virgin is amazed, but accepts the will of God. Soon her position is no longer concealed, and people begin to condemn Mary, since she was still engaged. Even Joseph intends to leave her. But the angel that dreamed him at night tells of the immaculate conception of the Holy Spirit, and Joseph obeys. According to the Lord, he will have to stay with his wife and baby. The righteous man declares Mary his wife.
Maria, already on her bedside, with her husband Joseph, goes to Bethlehem. They did not succeed in finding refuge after they arrived in the city, but they see the cave outside and hide there. Maria feels that the time of birth is coming. Here, in the cave for the shepherds, and the baby Jesus is born, and the bright star of Bethlehem is proclaiming the fact of birth. Its light illuminates the whole earth, and far to the east the Magi, the Chaldean sages, understand that the prophecies of the scriptures have come true: The King the Savior is born!
Gifts of the wise
To see the Messiah, the Magi are going on a long journey. And the shepherds, grazing the cattle on the neighboring pastures, first worship the Savior, hearing the singing of the angels who announce the birth. Upon arrival in Judea the Magi on a brightly shining star find a cave where the Holy Family is hiding. Approaching Christ, they bring gifts: incense and myrrh, as well as gold. And afterwards they are removed to glorify Jesus each in their own lands.
Massacre of the innocents
King Herod, who heard about the birth of the King of Peace in Bethlehem, orders his subordinates to destroy all male infants under two years of age. But the Holy Family escapes from the city to Egypt, to save Jesus from reprisal. Here is a brief outline of the Christian story of what Christmas is.
This bright holiday began to be celebrated in the 10th century, since the spread of Christianity on lands that were subordinate to Prince Vladimir, who is believed to have baptized Rus. In a strange way, Christmas combined with a pagan holiday in honor of the spirits of the ancestors - Saints. Therefore, in the Russian context of celebration there are also holy rituals. To understand what Christmas in Russia is, it is necessary to know these, more ancient, Slavic traditions.
This is the name of the day that precedes Christmas, the last day of Lent (December 24 - for Catholics, January 6 - for Orthodox Christians). The word "osovo" literally translates as "vegetable oil". So called and porridge, seasoned with lean oil, which was supposed to be on this day. In the morning on Christmas Eve in all rooms, they made order, cleanliness, scraped the floor and rubbed juniper branches. Then - a hot bath for the purity of body and soul.
Since the evening they were going to big companies to sing a carol. They got dressed in strange clothes, decorated their faces. The sleigh was given Kolyada, as a rule, a doll, dressed in a white shirt. They sang ritual songs.
What is Christmas for children?
Children made a star and walked around the village. They sang under the windows or went into the houses. These were songs, mostly glorifying the holiday. Also masters called and for this they received gifts from them - money, baked goods, sweets and sweets. Thus, from an early age, the children knew what the Nativity of Christ was, and accustomed to the traditions and beliefs of Orthodoxy.
There was a tradition (actual and in our time) of preparing special dishes accompanying the great holiday, performing a symbolic role. Kuty meant in the sacred sense the continuity of being, the continuity of generations, fertility and prosperity. The brew is a drink prepared in honor of the birth of the baby Jesus. Such a combination of kutya and potatoes was usually served on the table for Christmas. Kutyu cooked, as a rule, early in the morning from cereals, then languished in the oven and refueled with honey, butter. The broth was prepared from dried fruits and berries on the water. And such dishes were put under icons for hay in honor of Jesus, who was born in a manger. They also baked various animal figures - sheep, cows, chickens - as holiday symbols, and then handed them to relatives and friends.
Star of Bethlehem
What is Christmas and how was the process of celebration going on? In the evening, everyone expected the entrance to the sky of the Bethlehem star, symbolizing the birth of the Savior. Only after this event could one take to food. In this case, both the table and the shops were supposed to be covered with hay. This symbolized the cave where Christ was once born.
I did not have to work on Christmas Eve myself. This evening young girls usually wondered.
From Christmas and to Epiphany (January 19), there were days called Christmas. On the first day, early in the morning, "sowing" was carried out. The shepherd, entering the room, scattered a handful of oats. It symbolized well-being, health and fertility.
About the holiday Christmas for children
For kids, Christmas is always a fairy tale, you do not have to forget about it. If the child is small, he can also participate with pleasure in the holiday. Buy him a coloring book that tells what Christmas is for children. Help me learn a verse or a carol to tell her visitors. You can make your own Christmas nativity scene by carving and painting small figures of characters together with your baby.
If the child is older, you can teach him to sing Christmas carols, and even go with the children to the neighbors. Of course, a child must receive a variety of incentives for this - sweets, small money, sweets. And in many countries it is customary to give children presents for Christmas. Let's and we will maintain such a good tradition!