Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates
Christmas on January 6th. On this
day it also celebrates the Epiphany. Epiphany is now mainly the time Churches
remember the Visit of the Wise Men to Jesus. Some Armenians fast (don't eat
anything) in the week before Christmas. The Christmas Eve meal is called Khetum. It often includes dishes such
as rice, fish, Nevik (green chard and chick peas) and yogurt/wheat soup called Tanabur. Desserts include dried fruits
and nuts, including Rojik (whole
shelled walnuts threaded on a string and encased in grape jelly), Bastukh (a paper-like dessert made of
grape jelly, cornstarch and flour). This lighter menu is designed to ease the
stomach off the week-long fast and prepare it for the rather more substantial
Christmas Day dinner. Children take presents of fruits, nuts, and other candies
to older relatives.
Claus Gaghant Baba / Kaghand Papa traditionally come on New Year's Eve
(December 31st) because Christmas Day it is thought of as more of a religious
holiday in Armenia.
Day isn’t celebrated on the 25th December but on 7th January. The Coptic
month leading to Christmas is called Kiahk.
People sing special praise songs on Saturday night before the Sunday Service.
For the 43 days before Christmas advent from 25th November to 6th January, Coptic Orthodox
Christians have a special fast where they basically eat vegan diet. They don’t eat anything containing product
that came from animals. This is called “The
Holy Nativity Fast”. On 6th January Coptic Christian go to
church for service which starts at 10.30pm where people reach by 9’0 clock to
meet the family and friends over there.
The services finished in midnight around 4’0 clock in morning. When
Christmas service ends people go home to eat the big Christmas meal.
still uses the old Julian calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th instead of 25th
December. Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna. Most people go to church on Christmas Day. Many people take
part in a special Advent fast during 43 days before Christmas. Its start on 25th
November and its called “Fast of the
Prophet”. At dawn on the morning of
Ganna people get dressed in white or else they wear a traditional dress called
“Shamma”. The early Ganna mass start
at 4am. They head to church gives services with holding candles.
Montenegro and Serbia
Eve celebrate on 6th January
and Christmas Day on 7th
January. Advent starts at 28th November. Outside church there is
often bonfire on Christmas Eve. Under the dinner table there should be some
straw as a symbol of the stable/ cave where Jesus was born. When the straw is
spread out some people make the noise of Chicken. Clucking like a chicken
symbolizes that Jesus wanted people to follow him like one big family. It’s
also common for a handful of walnuts to be spread on the straw.
is Russia is normally celebrated on 7th
January. Advent starts at 28th November to 6th
January, so its long 40 days. Some people fast during Christmas Eve until the
first star has appeared in the sky. People then eat (Kutia) Porridge made wheat or rice with honey, poppy seeds, fruits,
berries and dry fruits. Kutia is eaten in one common bowl symbolizes the unity.
Some thrown one tablespoon of Kutia toward the ceiling, if it gets stuck to
ceiling it will bring good luck and good harvest. Some orthodox Russian
Christian doesn’t even eat meat or fish on Christmas Eve.
Christmas time in Sweden one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia’s Day on December 13th. The celebration comes from the stories by
the monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. St. Lucia’s day is now celebrated by a girl
dressing in a white dress with a red shash around her waist and a crown of a
candle on her head. It symbolizes new life in winter. St. Lucia’s day is also
celebrated in Denmark, Norway, Finland,
Bosnia and Croatia. On 13th January after the
Christmas Eve is taken down the Christmas tree and eaten over the left over
cookies and sweets.
in Ukraine is normally celebrated on 7th
January. Advent starts at 28th
November to 6th January, so its long 40 days. People fast during
Christmas Eve until the first start has appeared in the sky. The star
represents “The Journey of a Wise Man to
find Jesus” and that Jesus was born. St. Nicholas visit children are on 19th December which is also
celebrated as St. Nicholas day. Christmas tree is decorated with artificial
spider web and finding a web on your tree is considered as a good luck.
in Belgium believe that 'Sinterklaas/St.
Niklaas' (Flemish) or 'Saint
Nicholas' (Walloon) brings those presents on December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day.
put their shoes in front of the fireplace, together some for Sinterklaas like a
drawing or biscuits; they might also leave a carrot for Sinterklass's horse and
something for Zwarte Piet (Black
Peter, Sinterklass's assistant). Then in the night, Sinterklaas arrives on the
roof on his horse with Zwarte Piet. Zwarte Piet climbs down the chimney and
leaves the presents in and around the shoes. Sinterklaas has a book in which he
keeps all the names of the children and tells if they've been bad or good.
Children are told that if they've been bad, Zwarte Piet will put you in his sack
and take you back to Spain! Traditional foods that are left for Sinterklaas
include tangerines, gingerbread, chocolate and 'Mokjes' (cookies made in the shapes of letters. There are lots of
songs that children sing about Sinterklaas. Different regions of Belgium have
different customs and traditions about St. Nicholas.
Netherlands and Holland
most children in The Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when Sinterklaas (St.
Nicholas) brings them their presents!
Nicholas' day is on the 6th December, but in The Netherlands, the major
celebrations are held on the 5th December. The name Santa Claus comes from the
all starts on the second Saturday of November (the first Saturday after 11th
November) when Sinterklaas travels to a city or town in The Netherlands. Dutch
tradition says that St. Nicholas lives in Madrid, Spain and every year he
chooses a different harbor to arrive in Holland, so as many children as
possible get a chance to see him.
travels with his servants called 'Zwarte
Pieten' ('Black Peters'). When Sinterklaas and the Black Peters come ashore
from the steam boat, all of the local church bells ring in celebration.
Sinterklaas, dressed in his red robes, leads a procession through the town,
riding a white horse. Every town in The Netherlands has a few Sinterklaas
helpers, dressed the same as Sinterklaas who help give the presents out. (And
sometimes you might one see one or more Zwarte Pieten with Sinterklaas!)