Customs and traditions of North Korea

Catholic Christmas holiday has five days forefeast (from 20 to 24 December) and six days of poprazdnovat. On December 24, Christmas eve Catholics observed particularly strict fast, called Eve, because this day is consumed sochivo – cooked with honey wheat or barley grain.

By tradition, the post Christmas eve ends with the appearance of the sky first evening star, after which all Catholic and Protestant churches around the world be festive Christmas worship, the presence of which is obligatory for Catholics. During the mass, I recall the old Testament prophecies and events related to Christmas Savior.

After a solemn mass there will be a celebration dinner at home. According to ancient custom, originating in the rites of the First Church, on Christmas eve, eating meatless meals. The meal has a religious character, and very solemn. Before the beginning of a feast read an excerpt from the gospel of St. Luke about the birth of Christ. The whole ritual of meal of the eve chaired by the father of the family.

The most important event of the last supper is the breaking of oblakov (Christmas bread). It begins traditionally father or eldest in the family. Then share the bread as a sign of love and mutual goodwill, while exchanging congratulations.

There is widespread custom to leave for the Christmas table Unallocated space. If someone comes into the house on Christmas Eve, then will be adopted as a brother. This custom is the memory of close and dear people who are unable on this day to celebrate the holiday with my family. Unallocated space and also symbolizes a deceased family member, or all ancestors. For them, gone forever, on the table customarily placed, a special device, which is put a little of each dish and a piece of wafer.

Also preserved the custom of placing hay under the white tablecloth on the table at which the meal is made of eve. Hay is meant to recall the poverty of the Bethlehem cave of the virgin, and marked the Newborn Christ child Christ on the hay in the manger.

The main symbols of Christmas

Of course, no Christmas is complete without gifts, and without Santa Claus who gives them. The image of a plump good-natured old fellow with a gray beard became popular after American artist Thomas Nast in 1863, used this character for his political cartoons. Later, the artist created numerous drawings, which were intended for children. Gradually the image of Santa was supplemented with various items. So, a bag of gifts just got a hero next Christmas. Then Santa Claus has a habit to sneak into the house through the chimney to leave gifts to children. From the figures it is clear also, for example, that Santa lives at the North pole, and maintains a special book which records the good deeds and bad children.

The prototype of Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas. With the saints connected with another integral Christmas tradition is to hang in the house stockings for gifts. Rumor has it that he drove by the home of an impoverished nobleman, noticed hanging by the fireplace to dry coloccini his daughters, tossed in the chimney small bags of gold, which fell right into the stockings, became the dowry of the girls.

The tradition of decorating a Christmas tree came from the Germanic peoples, in rites of which the fir – tree-evergreen – was a symbol of life and fertility. With the spread of Christianity among the peoples of Central and Northern Europe decorated with colorful balloons spruce acquires a new symbolic: it began to install in the homes of 24 December, when the Western tradition is the day of Adam and eve, as a symbol of Paradise tree with abundant fruit. In the context of the Christmas fir-tree already represents the tree of Paradise and eternal life, which man regains, through the New Adam – Jesus Christ.

In the late nineteenth century, thanks to German immigrants, this tradition emerged in America. As ornaments for a festive tree in ancient times was used colored paper, candy and apples, symbolizing the garden of Paradise of Eden. It is believed that the use of candles to decorate fir trees invited the founder of Protestant Church Martin Luther, to attempt thus to reproduce the light of the stars through the branches of fir trees, so struck with its beauty one winter evening.

Another Christmas plant is mistletoe. Mistletoe is associated with a lot of will. And every nation they are different. For example, in Scandinavia, mistletoe was a symbol of peace. Representatives of different peoples believed that mistletoe is able to protect the house from thunder and lightning, heal wounds or scare away evil spirits. Christmas is associated with the same common tradition – the English custom of kissing under the mistletoe branch.

Different countries – different traditions

Together with the Catholics celebrated Christmas the Lutherans, the Anglican Church and some Protestant denominations. In each country, this holiday has its traditions.

In Spain is called Nochebuena Christmas. It is celebrated usually with family, but some families, following a long Catholic tradition, I invite you this night to your Desk just lonely old people and poor people.

In Germany December 24 after dinner, life in most cities stops. About ten o’clock in the evening the air is filled with the peal of bells, heralding the start of Christmas services. The service in this day there are even those who in other days of the year did not think about God.

There are regional types of traditional Christmas pastries such as gingerbread Nuremberg, Aachen curly gingerbread, Stollen from Dresden, stars of cinnamon and much more.

In Poland Christmas Eve is not a holiday, but in the second half can not find any working establishment, office or store. When the first star rises, the whole family in fancy clothes going for a gala dinner. All share wafers, congratulate each other. On the table of meatless dishes: soup with “ears”, fried and jellied carp, dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms, compote from dried fruits, sweet cakes, in some parts of Poland, kutia. As a rule, everyone at the table sing Christmas carols and remember the outgoing year.

In Canada, Christmas begins the evening of December 24, which has its own name – Cristmas Eve (“Christmas Eve” or “Eve”). This evening adults, completing the afternoon or returning from Church, sit down at a festive table. In Newfoundland and Labrador there is a custom on Christmas eve to sell in the Church of the fish that people catch especially for this throughout the weeks just before Christmas: the proceeds so the money go entirely to the parish.

Brazilians, unlike Europeans, have long been celebrating Christmas in the family circle, prefer to celebrate this holiday on the streets. Street festivals, songs and dances – a distinctive feature of Christmas celebrations in Brazil.

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