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Форум » Forum in English » Holidays Russia » January 7 (non-working day) Christmas in Russia (free day)
January 7 (non-working day) Christmas in Russia
Дата: Вторник, 14.03.2017, 14:34 | Сообщение # 1
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January 7 (non-working day) Christmas in Russia

Christmas (in the Russian Orthodox Church - Christmas on the flesh of the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Greek Ή κατά σάρκα Γέννησις τού Κυρίου καί Θεού καί Σωτήρος ἡμῶν Ιησού Χριστού; tserk.-Slavic Є҆zhe flesh rzhⷭ҇tvo gdⷭ҇a bg҃a i҆ sp҃sa nashago і҆i҃sa.. At the Old Believers the birth of Christ) is one of the main Christian holidays, established in honor of the birth in the flesh of Jesus Christ from the Virgin Mary.

In Orthodoxy is included in the number of masters of the twelve feasts and is preceded by a 40-day Christmas fasting. Jerusalem, Russian, Georgian, Serbian and Polish Orthodox Churches, as well as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (in Ukraine), Old Believers and the Old Calendar churches celebrate 25 December (7 January), according to the Julian calendar. The Constantinople, Hellas and a number of other local Orthodox churches are celebrated on December 25 according to the New Julian calendar. The Catholic Church is December 25th according to the Gregorian calendar. The Armenian Apostolic Church - January 6.

History of the appearance of the holiday
In the Christian church from the end of the II century until the IV century, the events of Christmas were recalled on the day of the Epiphany - January 6. About 200 years of this practice mentions Clement of Alexandria. The first reports of the appearance of a separate holiday of Christmas and its celebration on December 25 refer to the middle of the IV century. According to one version, this was due to the desire of the Christian church to supersede the cult of the Invincible Sun, widely celebrated in the Roman Empire, whose birth was celebrated on December 25 - then on this day it was the winter solstice.

Dates of celebration in various churches
The Roman Catholic Church and the majority of Protestant churches are celebrated on December 25th according to the modern Gregorian calendar.

Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian, Georgian Orthodox churches and Athos, as well as the Eastern Catholic churches celebrate December 25th according to the Julian calendar (the so-called "old style"), which corresponds to the January 7 of the modern Gregorian calendar.

Constantinople (except Mount Athos), Antioch, Alexandria, Cyprus, Bulgarian, Romanian, of Greece and some other Orthodox churches celebrate 25 December Revised Julian Calendar, which will coincide with the Gregorian calendar, that is together with the other Christian confessions before March 1, 2800, marking Christmas for the "new style".

Ancient Eastern churches celebrate Christmas on January 6 in one day with the Epiphany of the Lord under the common name of the Epiphany.

The Nativity of Christ
A detailed account of the birth of Jesus Christ is given only in the Evangelists of Luke and Matthew (Matthew 1: 1):

"In those days, it was the command of Caesar Augustus to make a census throughout the land. This census was the first in the reign of Quirinius to Syria. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to register with Mary, betrothed wife, who was pregnant. When they were there, it was time to give birth to Her; And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and put him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the hotel.
(Luke 2: 4-7). "
According to the decree of the emperor, to facilitate the conduct of the census, every resident of the empire was to appear "in his city". Since Joseph was a descendant of David and Mary was engaged to Joseph, they went to Bethlehem.

After the birth of Jesus, the shepherds, who were informed about this event by the appearance of an angel, came to him as the first of the people. According to the Evangelist Matthew, a wonderful star appeared in the sky, which led to the infant Jesus the wise men. They presented gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh; Not as a child, but as a King (Matthew 2: 1-3). By that time, the Holy Family had already found shelter "in the house" (Matthew 2: 1-11).

Having learned about the birth of the Messiah and wishing to destroy Him, the king of Judah Herod ordered to kill all babies under the age of 2 years. However, Christ was miraculously saved from death, because the angel commanded Joseph to flee to Egypt with his family, where they lived until the death of Herod (Matthew 2:16).

Apparently, at first, in the 8 th day after the birth of Jesus, was his circumcision (Luke 2:21.), And in the 40th day of sacrifice at the Temple (Luke 2:. 22-38), and only then The worship of the Magi, the flight to Egypt and the beating of babies.

Apocryphal sources
A story about the details of the birth of Jesus Christ is found in two apocryphal sources: "Proto-Gospel of Jacob" and "Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew." According to these sources, because of the lack of space in the hotel, Joseph and Mary were forced to spend the night in a cave (see Christmas Cave), which was used as a shelter for sheltering cattle from the weather.

When Mary felt childbirth offensive, Joseph went to look for the midwife, but when he returned with it to the cave, the birth has taken place, and in the cave shone a light that they could not bear it, and some time later the light was gone and there was a baby came out and Took the breast of his mother Mary. According to Cyprian of Carthage, Mary "did not need any services from the side of the grandmother, but she was both a parent and a birth minister, and therefore she gives reverent care to the infant." He writes that the birth of Christ took place before Joseph brought the midwife. In this Salome is called an old man and a relative of Mary, that is, coming from the kind of King David.

The Salome-midwife mentioned in the apocrypha witnessed the miracle of preserving the Virgin's virginity, and her image entered the iconography of the Nativity of Christ and the folk customs associated with childbirth.

Origin of the date
Determining the date of birth of Jesus Christ
Attempts to establish the year of the birth of Christ on the dates of the accompanying events (the years of the reign of emperors, kings, consuls, etc.) did not lead to any specific date. Apparently, the historical Jesus was born between 7 and 5 years BC. E. The date of December 25 was first indicated by Sextus Julius Afrikan in his chronicle, written in 221.

The numbering, laid in the foundation of our era, was made in 525 by a Roman monk, the papal archivist, Dionysius the Small. Dionysius, perhaps, was based on the data of the Chronological Digest for the year 354 (Chronographus anni CCCLIIII). Here the birth of Jesus is attributed to the year of the consulship of Guy Caesar and Emilia Paul, that is, for 1 year. E. The entry in the Chronograph of 354 has the form: Hos cons. Dominus Iesus Christus natus est VIII Kal. Ian. D. Ven. Luna XV ("With these consuls, the Lord Jesus Christ was born on the 8th day before the January calends on Friday 15th moon"), that is, on December 25th.

In various modern studies, the birth dates of Jesus are in the interval between 12 BC. E. (The moment of the passage of Halley's comet, which could be a Bethlehem star) to 7 years old. E., When the only known census of the population was conducted during the described period. However, the dates after 4 years BC. E. Unlikely for two reasons. First, according to the evangelical and apocryphal data, Jesus was born in the time of Herod the Great, and he died in 4 BC. E. (According to other sources, in 1 year BC). Secondly, if we accept late dates, then it turns out that by the time of his preaching and execution, Jesus would have been too young.

As the researcher Robert D. Myers points out: "The biblical description of the birth of Jesus does not contain an indication of the date of the event. But Luke's report (Luke 2: 8), that "there were shepherds in the field, who kept night watch by their flock," indicates that Jesus was born in the summer or early autumn. Since December in Judea is cold and rainy, shepherds are most likely to seek shelter for their flocks at night. " However, according to the Talmud, the herdsmen who grazed the herds for the temple sacrifices were in the fields even thirty days before Easter, that is, In February, when the amount of rain in Judea is very significant, which refutes the views of critics.

Establish a date for the celebration of Christmas
The first Christians were Jews and did not celebrate Christmas (according to the Jewish doctrine, the birth of man - "the beginning of sorrows and pains"). For Christians, the most important from a doctrinal point of view was and is the feast of the Resurrection of Christ (Easter). After the Greeks entered the Christian communities (and other Hellenistic peoples), the celebration of the Nativity of Christ was initiated under the influence of Hellenistic customs.

The ancient Christian feast of Epiphany on January 6 ideologically combined both Christmas and Epiphany, which later became different holidays.

December 25 as the day of "the birth of Christ in Bethlehem of Judea" first mentions the Roman Chronograph of 354, based on a calendar dating back to the year 336. On the same day there was marked the Roman civil holiday N (atalis) Invicti. This relatively later evidence suggests that Christmas was a post-Nicaean holiday, established in a peak and as a reaction to the dies natalis solis invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun), established in 274 by Emperor Aurelian.

According to another point of view, donatists celebrated Christmas even before the IV century (possibly already in 243), and its date was already calculated.

The date of the Annunciation was established on March 25 (in the East - on April 6). The addition to these dates is 9 months for December 25 and January 6, respectively. In the IV century, the East (except the Armenian Church) and the West borrowed each other's dates by setting separate holidays for Christmas and Epiphany.

However, the date of the celebration of the Annunciation is tightly tied to Christmas is not always: in the Ambrose rite, the last (sixth) resurrection of Advent is dedicated to the remembrance of the Annunciation, in the Mozarabic - on December 18.

Christmas in Christian worship
Christmas in the service of the Orthodox Church
In the hierarchy of holidays of the Russian Orthodox Church, Christmas is second only to Easter. It is preceded by a 40-day Christmas fast, a week of forefathers, a week of fathers, a special Saturday before Christmas, a pre-Christmas and a Christmas Eve, and Christmas continues with funeral and saints.

The texts of liturgical observances of the feast are kept in Minnes, and the order of their fulfillment is in the Typicon.

These hymns (tripes and canons) reflect the basic theological idea that the incarnation of the Word of God, being His "exhaustion" (kenosis), His humiliation, was for Him a kind of Cross, the first Cross, perhaps less light than the Cross The last, that is, the Crucifixion. The Son of God, incarnated, assumes the "fidelity" of human nature, assumes the image of a "slave".
The divine service of the Nativity of Christ has significant differences from the worship of other twelve great feasts. Thus, in the all-night vigil on the eve of the feast enters the great Compline (as on the eve of the Epiphany) instead of the Great Vespers (as in the other Twelve).

On the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, the Orthodox greet each other with the words: "Christ was born!" Answering them - "We Praise Him!".

Russian Orthodox Church since 1814 (according to the decree of Alexander I) on the very day of Christmas, also celebrates the remembrance of the deliverance of the Church and the Russian state from the invasion of the Gauls and with them twenty languages.

In 1923, at the All-Orthodox Council in Constantinople, representatives of 11 autocephalous Orthodox churches decided to switch to the "New Julian calendar" (now coincides with the Gregorian calendar). Nowadays, according to the new style, Christmas is celebrated by Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Romanian, Bulgarian, Cypriot, Hellas, Albanian, Polish, American Churches, as well as the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. 4 Local Patriarchates - Jerusalem, Russian, Georgian and Serbian follow the Julian calendar. Also Christmas on the Julian calendar (January 7th according to the Gregorian calendar) is celebrated in Athos monasteries. The Julian calendar is also followed by all the "old calendar" denominations of the Greek Church, as well as the true Orthodox synods, separated from the above-mentioned autocephaly and patriarchy.

Christmas in the service of the Roman Catholic Church
In the hierarchy of the holidays of the Roman Catholic Church, Christmas ranks second after Easter. Celebration of the Nativity in the Catholic liturgical calendar is preceded by the Advent period. It always starts 4 Sundays before Christmas; Its actual duration depends on the day on which Christmas falls on this year. Earlier Advent was considered a period of fasting. Modern rules of the mandatory fast do not prescribe, although many Catholics accept for this period lean regulations. Advent is seen as a time of intense repentance - it is recommended that faithful begin the sacrament of confession; The clergy wear vestments of violet, penitential, color. This is the period of waiting for the Christmas holiday and thinking about Christ's coming to earth: both in Christmas and in the Second Coming.

The services of each of the four Sundays of Advent have a specific theme, reflected in the Gospel readings: the first is dedicated to the coming of Christ at the end of time; The second and the third reflect the transition from the Old to the New Testament; on the third Sunday, the ministry of John the Baptist is especially remembered; The fourth is devoted to the evangelical events that preceded Christmas.

With the Advent period, several traditions are associated, such as the Christmas wreath, the Christmas calendar and others.

December 24, Christmas Eve begins vihilia (from Latin vigilia, vigil), Vigil service. In many countries on this day, believers observe a strict fast. The introductory chant of this day - "The fullness of the times when God sent His Son to the earth" has already come, emphasizes the significance of the coming holiday.

On the eve of Christmas, in the evening, a special Mass is called, Mass of the Nativity of the Nativity (Ad Missam in Vigilia). On the very day of Christmas, on December 25, three different masses can be performed - Mass at night (Ad Missam in nocte), Mass at the dawn (Ad Missam in aurora) and Mass in the afternoon (Ad Missam in die), having several different sequences and different Reading the Scriptures. In the Middle Ages these three masses were symbolically considered as the three births of Christ - from the Father before all ages, from Mary in human embodiment and mystically in the souls of believers. In some countries of Eastern and Central Europe, these three masses are called angelic, pastoral and royal gospel readings, telling of the worship of the Infant angels, shepherds and kings accordingly. In doing so, in practice, especially

Since 1978, after the election of Pope John Paul II, in the Vatican, after a long break, all-night Christmas Masses, also known as the Pastoral Mass, were resumed. These masses were accepted in the Christian church from the fifth century, but since the 18th century this tradition in Western Europe has almost ceased (Poland remained one of the few Catholic countries where the all-night Christmas services continued everywhere). Pope-Pole John Paul II formally returned the Vigil service to the Vatican, this tradition was continued by his successor, Benedict XVI.

The holiday of Christmas lasts eight days - from December 25 to January 1 - forming the Octave of Christmas. On December 26, the feast of the holy martyr Stephen falls, on December 27, the memory of the holy apostle and evangelist John the Theologian is celebrated, on December 28 - Innocent Infants of Bethlehem. On Sunday, falling out for one of the days from December 26 to December 31, or December 30, if in this year these days there are no Sundays, there is a celebration of the Holy Family: the Infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph. On January 1, the solemnity of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated.

Christmas time continues after the end of the Octave of Christmas. According to an ancient tradition, Christmas was celebrated, similarly to Easter, 40 days, until the Feast of the Meeting. The baptism of the Lord was celebrated on January 13, in the octave of the Epiphany. This practice is still preserved among Catholics, who adhere to the traditional rite. In modern ritual, Christmas time ends with the holiday of Baptism, which, in turn, falls on the first Sunday after the Epiphany, on January 6. (It should be noted, however, that in many countries, especially in Europe, it is customary to postpone some church holidays on the nearest Sunday.) In this case, if the Epiphany falls in the number of such holidays, it is postponed on Sunday between January 2 and 8. Baptism is celebrated on Sunday after January 6. If this Sunday is already "busy" with the feast of the Epiphany, then Baptism, and, accordingly, the end of the Christmas period, are postponed to the nearest Monday). Throughout Christmas time, the clergy in the liturgy wears white, festive colors.

States in which Christmas is a holiday

One day off
Armenia - January 6
Brazil - December 25
Georgia - January 7
Jordan - December 25
Kazakhstan - January 7
Kyrgyzstan - January 7
Macedonia - January 7
Mexico - December 25
Portugal - December 25
Russia - January 7 (since 1991)
Republic of Korea - December 25
Serbia - January 7
United States of America USA - December 25
France - December 25
Ukraine - January 7

Two days off
Austria - December 25, December 26
Belarus - December 25, January 7
United Kingdom - December 25, December 26
Hungary - December 25, December 26
Germany - December 25, December 26
Greece - December 25, December 26
Ireland - December 25, December 26
Spain - December 25, December 26
Italy - December 25, December 26
Canada - December 25, December 26
Lebanon - January 6 (according to the Armenian tradition) and December 25 (according to the Gregorian calendar)
Luxembourg - December 25, December 26
Netherlands - December 25, December 26
Norway -25 December, 26 December
Romania -25 December, 26 December
Finland - December 25, December 26
Croatia - December 25, December 26
Sweden - December 25, December 26

Three days off
Bulgaria - December 24, December 25, December 26
Denmark - December 24, December 25, December 26
Latvia - December 24, December 25, December 26
Lithuania - December 24, December 25, December 26
Poland - December 25, December 26, January 6
 Moldavia - December 25, January 7, January 8
Slovakia - December 24, December 25, December 26
Czech Republic - December 24, December 25, December 26
Estonia - December 24, December 25, December 26



 
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