Unlike the USA, Slavic countries celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January.
The Nativity of the Lord and Savior of our Jesus Christ is one of the most important Christian holidays and a state holiday in more than 100 countries of the world. In Orthodoxy, the Nativity of Christ is celebrated on January 7 (unlike the Catholics who celebrate this holiday on December 25), is one of the twelve holy days and is preceded by a Christmas fast.
This great holiday is set to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. On this day an unprecedented event took place in the small town of Bethlehem - the Divine Infant, the Son of God, was born into the world. Jesus Christ was born in a supernatural way from the Virgin Mary, the Virgin.
Coming to earth, Christ was not greeted with honor, nobility and wealth. He did not even have a cradle-like all children did not have a shelter - He was born out of town in a cave and was put in a manger where they put food for animals.
The first guests of the divine baby were not kings and nobles, but simple shepherds whom the angel announced the Nativity of Christ: “I declare to you the great joy that will be for all people: for now you are born in the city of David the Savior, who is the Lord Christ! And here is a sign for you: you will find the Baby in swaddling clothes lying in a manger ”(Lk 2.10-12).
The shepherds were the first to rush to bow to the newborn Savior. At this time, with the gifts to the King of the World, the magi (ancient sages) came from the east. They expected that soon the great King of the World should come to earth, and a wonderful star showed them the way to Jerusalem.
The Magi brought Baby gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts had a deep meaning: they brought gold as the Tsar in the form of tribute, incense as God, and myrrh as the person who should die (the anointed in those days were anointed).
But was the born Christ so met? The Holy Church sings that the whole creation of God met the Savior: the angels brought Him singing, the magi brought gifts, the shepherds met the Baby, the earth prepared a cave-den, and the Virgin Mary became the Mother of the Lord.
The Nativity of Christ is completed by the forty-day Christmas fast (holy Fourth Day); strict fasting is observed on the eve of the holiday. On the night of January 6 to 7, Christmas services are held in Orthodox churches. After Christmas, Christmas time comes - holy days or 12 days, during which a holiday is celebrated.
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