Traditionally, Christmas is associated with festivities and a beautiful sight. The last day of the post has long been held by all baptized Russia in prayers. In each house they carefully prepared for two -week holidays: the whole house was washed out to shine, chopped firewood for several days ahead, harvested hay for livestock, prepared various dishes. It was not allowed to work the first three days after Christmas. It was believed that the cleaner the house on the Christmas night will be, the greater the likelihood that all evil spirits will pass by. Very quickly in Christian houses, a pagan tree took root, which was annually decorated with a Bethlehem star.
In Russia, it was customary to specially prepare thick candles for Christmas, which were supposed to burn from the evening until the next sunset. Thus, the family expressed its joy by the coming of Jesus.
When all things were done, everyone washed and dressed up, it was necessary to wear at least one new thing. Before setting the festive table with a tablecloth, it was first covered with hay – this should have symbolize the nursery in which Jesus was born. In the center of the table, they put a juicy and kutu (boiled rice or wheat with raisins, honey and nuts). On the table, according to tradition, there should have been exactly 12 lean dishes, drinks and candles.
As soon as the first star light up in the sky, everyone sat down at the table and first tried it with kutu. Food was supposed to cook modest. Baked gingerbread cookies and pies with various fillings, cooked jelly and baked piglets.
It was supposed to visit after midnight, but for now everyone was gathering in the circle of the closest.
On this day it was customary to distribute sweets and pies to children and poor. If a guest entered the house during a feast – this was considered a good sign. This evening it was impossible for anyone to refuse to either food or in the roof. It was believed that the hospitable the traveler would meet, the more successful the year will be.
Fasting and drinking good wine, everyone began to give each other gifts, after which everyone walked together to ride a sled, light bonfires, play snowballs and, of course, guess. That night everyone was waiting for happiness and miracle!
It was customary to guess for Christmas. All the girls went outside and threw shoes for the fence, asked, men’s names from passers -by and listened to dogs barking. Guys usually rode from a slide on a sleigh and from a crowd of girls chose a narrowed. Another Christmas tradition was a matchmaking for Christmas, it was believed that on this day there would be no refusal. And the children were wetted with sweets and rejoiced at the snow, fireworks and collected gifts.