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The Traditions Of Christmas Essay

1439 words - 6 pages

Traditions of Christmas PAGE 2
Running Head: Traditions of ChristmasThe Traditions of ChristmasThe Traditions of ChristmasChristmas is a time for sharing stories and traditions with family and friends. A time for giving to others, carols, a time when everyone seems to be a little nicer to their fellow man and a time when children try to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus. Most people have a special memory of a family tradition at Christmas. Cultures around the world have their own set of special traditions regarding Christmas. In the following paper, our team will discuss how Russia and Germany celebrate Christmas and the traditions surrounding it.Russian Culture and ReligionRussia is a land filled with mystery, beauty and amazing traditions. During the 11th century a Duke by the name of Vladimir Krasno Solnyshko had been baptized into Christianity and liking what he had learned he had the entire country baptized as well. Those who refused were baptized by force. In spite of that fact, most Russians embraced Orthodox Christianity and the many rituals that go with it. Orthodoxy is a religion filled with strict rules, restrictions, and fasts and is very comparable to the Catholic and Baptist faiths (Guide to Russia). Judaism can also be found in large communities around Saint Petersburg. The Russian Orthodox Church held most of the power and Jews were persecuted openly so many fled to other countries that allowed more freedoms. When the Mongolian people settled into Russia in 1741 they brought Buddhism with them. During the Soviet times monks were killed and many of the temples destroyed. More recently in the 1990's Buddhism received official status in Russia and begin doing better (Guide to Russia). Although not to common by any means anymore there are small sects of Islam and Shamanism in part of Russia.Russians celebrate Christmas unlike the rest of the world in many ways. The first is they celebrate on January 7th instead of the 25th of December. The Russian Orthodox Church still follows the Julian Calendar as the for most of the world works from the Gregorian Calendar which has ten days dropped from it accounting for the difference in the days (Scott 1998). However, New Years has now become a bigger celebration then Christmas. The most popular part of Christmas Eve is the "Holy Super". This dinner is very unquie from the western style dinners in that it is completely meatless. The most important dish is a porridge called kutya made from wheatberries or other grains to symbolize hope and immortality. Kutya also includes honey and poppy seeds to ensure happiness, success, and untroubled rest (Scott 1998). An Old Russian tradition involved throwing a spoonful of kutya to the ceiling and if it stuck it meant a bountiful honey harvests (Scott 1998). The "Holy Supper" is filled with twelve different foods, one to symbolize each of the twelve Apostles. There are some variations from place to place but the twelve foods typically consist of mushroom...

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