Januar

Christmas » Božić | 73 T HE MOST B EAU T I F U L CHR I STMAS CUSTOMS Christ is born! He is truly born! The birth of Jesus Christ is always celebrated on 7th January according to the Gregorian calendar, and the time around Christmas represents the most beautiful and festive period throughout the year – the holiday of children and families ChristmasEveiscelebrated on the sixth day of January, which is also the last and strictest day of Christmas fasting. The day is named Badnjak in Serbian, after the oak sapling that is cut down by the head of the household before dawn on the morning of Christmas Eve. After choosing an appropriate tree, thehost turns eastwards, crosseshimself andprays toGod, takes an axeandcutstheChristmastreedown with the third chop.Whenhe brings the Christmas tree home, he stands it up next to the front door, where it stays until the evening, when it is brought into the house. ThecelebrationofChristmasEve begins with the introducing of the badnjak into thehome.Thehost also brings instraw, imitates the clucking of chickens and sprinkles the straw around thehouse,while the children followhimwhile clucking.The straw is brought in to symbolise the straw on the floor of the cave where Jesus was born. After bringing the oak sapling, straw and roast meat into the home, the entire family gathers around the table, says a prayer, congratulateseachotheronthearrival of Christmas Eve and sits down at the table for a feast consistingof various dried fruits, bread, beans, fish and other Lenten dishes. OnthenightbetweenChristmas EveandChristmasDay,FatherChristmas [BožićBata–ChristmasBrother] brings special joy to children. Before headingtobed, theyplacetheirboots inthewindowswhereBožićBatawill leavethempresentsduringthenight. Early on the morning of Christmas Day, bells ring in Orthodox churches to announce the arrival of Christmas.The ladyof thehouse is thefirst to rise, and she uses dough to bake a special round ceremonial bread loaf withacoin inside that is calledČesnica. People greet each other with the words: “Christ is born!” and the response: “He is truly born!”. Next the first passer-by arrives at the house, bringing good wishes to the home andmembers of the household, and receiving a prepared gift fromthe lady of the house. The passer-by symbolises the sages from the east, who followed theChristmas Star to come to worship the newborn Jesus. It is believed that the passer-by is someone who will bring happiness into the house for the entire year ahead. TheČesnicabread isbroken into asmanyparts as therearehousehold members. It is believed that the one who receives the coinwill have good luck throughout the year.The family membersthencongratulateeachother on the arrival ofChristmas andsit to eat a rich and meaty spread that includes, apart from Česnica, roast meat and various delicacies. There are also some other folk beliefs connected to the celebration of Christmas. All thosewho’ve quarrelledduringtheyearshouldreconcile their differences, some work should be symbolically started after lunch, toensure that thepeople arediligent throughouttheyear, theholidayiscelebrated inthe circleof the familyand the table is not cleared from Christmas Eve until St. Stephen’s Day, nor is the house cleaned. Christ is born! Božić, zvone zvona na pravoslavnim hramovima najavljujući dolazak Božića. Domaćica ustaje pre svih i od testa pravi pogaču koja se zove česnica i u nju stavlja novčić. Ljudi se pozdravljaju rečima: „Hristos se rodi!“, i otpozdravljaju: „Vaistinu se rodi!“. Zatimu kuću dolazi položajnik, koji upućuje lepe želje domu i ukućanima, a domaćica ga daruje pripremljenim poklonom. Položajnik simbolizuje mudrace sa istoka, koji su prateći zvezdu došli da se poklone novorođenom Isusu. Veruje se da je položajnik osoba koja će cele godine donositi sreću u kuću. Česnica se lomi na onoliko delova koliko ima ukućana. Veruje se da će onoga ko dobije deo sa novčićem sreća pratiti tokom čitave godine. Ukućani potomčestitaju jedni drugima Božić i sedaju za mrsnu, bogatu trpezu, na kojoj se, osim česnice, nalazi i pečenica, kao i razne đakonije koje je pripremila domaćica. Sa proslavljanjem Božića povezana su još neka narodna verovanja. Trebalo bi da se pomire svi oni koji su tokomgodine bili u svađi, da se posle ručka simbolično započne neki posao kako bi ljudi cele godine bili vredni, praznik se proslavlja u krugu porodice, a trpeza se ne rasprema od Badnje večeri do Svetog Stefana (9. januara), baš kao što se i kuća ne čisti. Hristos se rodi! Na Božić bi trebalo da se pomire svi oni koji su tokom godine bili u svađi All those who’ve quarrelled during the year should reconcile their differences at Christmas

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