Christmas Russia celebrates on 7 January. About the meaning of the holiday and traditions have told us father Andrew Pasternak, Dean of historical faculty of St. Tikhon’s Humanitarian University. When you can finish this Christmas post and how to spend a festive evening in a circle of close people?
Not the most devoutly religious people often confuse eve and Christmas, starting to celebrate already the evening of January 6. Although actually this can not be done, because the day before the appearance of the star of Bethlehem is the last, the most strict day of advent.
– Can you celebrate Christmas those who have not kept before this post?
– Of course, this is a celebration for all people, postivist and not fasted In the same way as Easter. Anyone can come to the Church for the Christmas service. And a lot depends on what was the mood of the person.
Not likely to comply with post people far from the Church, for him, fasting is not the norm. On the other hand, he could be objective reasons — such as illness. People can not blame the holiday for all.
– If the person decided not to go to the temple, and to celebrate the feast at home, it is recommended to do?
No rituals, no guidelines on the conduct of the meal. It all depends on what the occasion for a person personally. In the West, for example, Christmas has turned into a family holiday, virtually cut off from religious traditions. It is celebrated by people far from the Church, and there is nothing bad.
– How should I pray for those who stayed home?
– Need to pray always and everywhere — regardless of whether at this time the service in the Church or not. There is no special rules.
– Have a tradition: to wait, when the sky appears the first star, and then sit at the Banquet table. Is this correct?
Is inspired by media culture, as shown in the video about Christmas, on the Internet. Religion requires more work to develop spiritually, to pray, to go to Church. If you haven’t, it makes no sense to wait for the stars.
– That is razgulina must happen on 7 January?
Yes. On Christmas Eve you can not start, this is the last, the most strict day of fasting. Those who are looking to religion seriously, generally this day do not eat anything. But January 7 it is possible to break the fast. There are no generally accepted recommendations on the table at Christmas — there are no such traditions, like Passover, when we are talking about eggs and Easter cake. This is where we differ from the West: there is, for example, “adopted” the Christmas goose with apples.
– As you said, Christmas has now become a secular holiday, family — but that does not negate his religious values. Is it appropriate on this day to have fun, go to concerts, play, watch a movie?
– If people just enjoy and spend fun time, especially in those days, when the Church celebrates, then there is sin. Another thing is that the joy that should be associated with some excess, a Vice. The meaning of the holiday never to be forgotten. We must remember that on this day the Son of God came into the world for the salvation of mankind.
– Religious people want to associate Christmas with important events in their lives. Is it possible in this day to get married, baptize children?
To baptize children and bury the dead possible for these ordinances, no restrictions. Another thing — the wedding: only after January 19, after the Baptism of the Lord. Until the Church requires dedicating days of prayer and righteous thoughts, as well as in the days of Paschal joy.