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Russian Christmas and Koliada: the birthday of the Sun

Russian Christmas

Russians have the longest winter holiday in the World.

We have twelve days off in January. Look at  the list of Russian winter holidays.

 January 1 is  New Year’s day

1 января- Но́вый год

Traditions: New Year tree, the Kremlin chimes beating 12 o’clock, champagne. You have to make a wish with every sip of champagne. Every from 12th wishes has to come true in coming year.

It is a family holiday, but often often meet “Новый год” in Nature in tourist centers in the forest or in houses in the village.

We have no Santa Clause, but we have the Grandfather Frost- Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz). Our Дед Мороз is not alone; he has a granddaughter “Снегурочка-Snow girl”. They both come to good children and give them presents.

The oldest Russian New Year’s song “The forest raised a Christmas tree” was wrote in 1903 year. It is very popular all times.

Самая старая новогодняя песня “Влесу родилась ёлочка” былы написана в 1903 году. Она популярна во все времена.

Congratulations: С Но́вым го́дом!

January 7: Christmas and Koliada: the birthday of the Sun

Russian Orthodox Christmas is on January 7th. It is a date December 25, but in Julian calendar. Russian Orthodox Church still lives according to the old Julian calendar, which is currently 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar. We call this date “a date in an old stile”.

On Christmas Eve (6 January), there are several long services, including the Royal Hours and Vespers combined with the Divine Liturgy. The family will then return home for the traditional Christmas Eve “Holy Supper”, which consists of 12 dishes, one to honor each of the Twelve Apostles. Devout families will then return to church for the “всеночная” All Night Vigil. Then again, on Christmas Morning, for the “заутренняя” Divine Liturgy of the Nativity. Since 1992 Christmas has become a national holiday in Russia.

Congratulation: С Рождество́м Христо́вым!

 January 7-19: Christmastide

7-19 января- Свя́тки

Russians has a time “Koliada”after 7th January,  which lasts from 7 to 19 January  from Orthodox Christmas to Orthodox Epiphany day. Russia has been Christian since the year 980 A.D. (for over 1000 years).

The Church does not condone this mix of Russian pagans and Christians traditions.

There is a version that Koliada is the Slavic God, the son of God Dazhdbog and Goddess Maja.

Koliada means newborn winter infant Sun and impersonates the New Year’s cycle. It is connected with the solar cycle, passing through the four seasons and from one substantial condition into another. The four personifications of the Sun according to the ancient Slavic religion are:

  • Koliada – the small, weak winter Sun, reborn at the morning after the winter solstice
  • Yarilo – the strengthened Sun, that has turned into an adolescent at the morning after the spring equinox
  • Kupala – the mighty Sun, that appeared at the morning after the summer solstice
  • Svetovid – the aging and enervating, but wise Sun, that rose at the morning after the autumn equinox.

Black God “Чернобог» tried to kill the newborn child, but his mother Maja saved the small Kolyada.  We have fairy tales that God was glad to a birth of his son, that he let to go into the light to all the evil spirits.

It looks like the Halloween a little.

Young people try to know their fortunes on these days. The divination of future marriage, the divination of signs observed in melted wax, the reading cards and so on.

People put on masks and fun costumes and sing carols to their neighbors and friends.

January 14th – Old New Year

14 января-Старый Новый год

The New year in Julian calendar. We have a chance to congratulate our friends again and to start a new life in a New Year!

Here I am. I’m beginning my blog on New Year day. (Old New Year day :))

С Наступа́ющим Ста́рым Но́вым го́дом, друзья́!

Жела́ю вам успе́хов в Но́вом го́ду!

I wish you success in the New Year!

Congratulation: Happy Old New Year! Со Ста́рым Но́вым го́дом годом!


Источник: Википедия

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2 thoughts on “Russian Christmas and Koliada: the birthday of the Sun

  1. Thank you Svetlana for this wonderful view into your tradition.
    Greetings from Holland!

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