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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:09 PM   #37661
volodaaaa
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Sounds like a stupid cliché, but let's bring up how you are going to spend your Christmas holidays? :-)

Going out or stay at home? With or without family? Gifts already purchased? :-)
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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:17 PM   #37662
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I don't take a vacation around Christmas. I have a family dinner planned.

Many Dutch don't do gifts with Christmas, as we have Sinterklaas on 5 December. Though Sinterklaas is mostly a children's event. Santa Claus was modeled after Sinterklaas.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:18 PM   #37663
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My Christmas in in January so next week I am going to watch on TV. Also we don't buy gifts for Christmas. What kind of gift you buy?
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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:32 PM   #37664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Sounds like a stupid cliché, but let's bring up how you are going to spend your Christmas holidays? :-)

Going out or stay at home? With or without family? Gifts already purchased? :-)
I'm going to see my parents near Ancona (central Italy) then for a New Year's Eve vacation in Freiburg im Breisgau and surroundings...

Only gift I bought is for my gf...
Here in Brescia they don't do gifts on Christmas because they already do on Saint Lucy's day (13th December). This is a East Lombardy/Veneto thing only, in the rest of Italy it's either Christmas or Epiphany. Giving gifts on Epiphany (as the Three Kings did) is a much older tradition, but it's now replaced by Christmas...
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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:40 PM   #37665
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Anything comparable to birthday gifts, that is clothes, electronic devices, jewellery and household items. Depends on the relation you have with the person.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 02:49 PM   #37666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Sounds like a stupid cliché, but let's bring up how you are going to spend your Christmas holidays? :-)

Going out or stay at home? With or without family? Gifts already purchased? :-)
The Christmas Eve is the culmination. There will be a family dinner of four generations. The oldest grand-grandmother is 85 and the youngest member of family is seven months. We shall meet at my eldest daughter's home and I shall be the Chef de Cuisine. The menu will be a combination of Finnish Christmas traditions and some more modern items.

Father Christmas will join us for a while, and everyone will have presents. The kids will have more presents than the adults.

Two late grand-grandfathers rest at the cemetery nearby. We shall visit the graves and put some candles there.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #37667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Sounds like a stupid cliché, but let's bring up how you are going to spend your Christmas holidays? :-)

Going out or stay at home? With or without family? Gifts already purchased? :-)
I am going to travel to Amsterdam for 4 days, and meet my brother and his fiancee there (they don't live there but are going to travel there).
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Old December 17th, 2017, 03:29 PM   #37668
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For us also the Christmas Eve is culmination. 25th and 26th of December are just free days, with some newer and more blockbuster movies (and Home Alone) on TV. The special day is 24th December when you have the Christmas dinner, which, as the tradition says, should start when the first star appears on the sky, consist of 12 dishes and include no meat (until some years ago, the Catholic Church was saying that the Christmas Day should be a fasting day, they abolished it, but still tradition is tradition), so the main dish is a fish.

No idea why the meat of fish is not considered meat in fasting terms, but it's just so

And the fish eaten on Christmas Eve is either carp or herring, depending on the region and the specific family. For me, it's carp. And people from my family don't really like carp, so they usually go for another kind of fish, but I still prefer carp, it's better and just special for Christmas The others in my family usually eat one of the most available fish in shops, the Polish name of which is miruna and the English name seems to be blue grenadier - as they don't really like carp. Still, I prefer for Christmas a fish from local fish ponds, and not one from the seas on the other end of the world.

By the way, in the communist times, it seems that it was only possible to purchase a carp alive and it had to be done some days before, so this was not an uncommon view, making it difficult to have a bath:



A video:



Poor fish...

Now it's not a problem to buy such a fish even on the Christmas Eve day in any supermarket, and they usually can also kill it for you. Or you just buy a frozen one and the problem disappears.

The American or British (I am not sure) custom of eating turkey for Christmas seems therefore a bit weird to me, but it makes sense as they seem to celebrate the 25th December much more than the Christmas Eve.

Concerning the Santa Claus, Father Christmas or whatever like you wanna call him. Yes, they say he brings the presents On 6th December usually some small ones, the big ones land under the Christmas tree on Christmas. Concerning the name, we call him Święty Mikołaj, which is also the name of the bishop of Myra from 3rd/4th century who was known for giving gifts to the poor. Sometimes it's shorted to Mikołaj only (without "Saint"), but then it's also a normal male name (not very popular, but I know some people named so), so it may cause confusion.

Whether he rides a magic sleigh with reindeers, the leading one being the red-nosed Rudolph, and enters the home through the chimney, some tell such stories to the children, but it's difficult to believe in that concerning few houses and apartments in Poland have fireplaces, and it would be difficult to enter the house through the central heating boiler I believe he had to invent some more modern ways of getting into the house being unnoticed.

Last edited by Kpc21; December 17th, 2017 at 03:38 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 03:44 PM   #37669
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We have that st. Nicolas day on 6th of December, who is a candy and treat bringer for children who behaved good during the year. The bad children receives onion, potato or a piece of coal. Some sweets are also exchanged among adults :-) You should clean your shoes before this day :-)

The culmination is 24th of December. On this day you are not supposed to eat until the Christmas dinner (when you are too hungry you are obviously allowed to eat some sweet or pastry). Families usually prepares the dinner and visits the cemeteries. The Christmas eve starts not earlier than at 17.00. Close before, the gifts are put under the tree. Nobody is allowed to leave their seat unless the end of the dinner. It consists of several courses: wafer with honey and garlic, apple, fish soup and carp with potato salad. After the last family member have finished the last course, the youngest member is sent to give away the gifts from under the tree. Next two days are holidays too (1st and 2nd Christmas holiday).

I am spending my Christmas eve with my wife alone. The next day we are visiting her parents and having some Schintzels with potato salad. On the 26th we are visiting my parents and having a grilled duck with grilled potatoes. :-)

I bought my wife some clothes especially socks because their always disappear somewhere in my household during a year.

It is similar to Polish and German ones AFAIK.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 04:00 PM   #37670
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Sounds like a stupid cliché, but let's bring up how you are going to spend your Christmas holidays? :-)

Going out or stay at home? With or without family? Gifts already purchased? :-)
maybe sounds stupid, but i had recently some serious spiritual enlightment (no, I didn't visit any guru or something), changed some views on life, so I think that this Christmas will finally be the real one for me. family and closest freinds. gifts? mmm, no. not really, at least material ones not.

about New Year - Airbnb has successfully ruined it, so I am searching for new accomodation, what is hard regarding the desired area.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 04:16 PM   #37671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
The bad children receives onion, potato or a piece of coal.
In Poland they get a stick, supposedly such one to be used on their buttocks

Although I am not sure about how it works, unfortunately I never got one. I think it's an urban legend

Quote:
On this day you are not supposed to eat until the Christmas dinner (when you are too hungry you are obviously allowed to eat some sweet or pastry).
Same in Poland.

Actually, the only thing that seems to be not so popular in Poland is visiting graveyards, although some people do it, especially if they have some very close relatives there. Most people visit graveyards on 1st November.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 07:39 PM   #37672
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On the 25th, we have our traditional "It's not our Christmas" party at one of the biggest nightclubs in Toronto.

But yeah, January 6th probably at church, where we burn "badnjak" (oak tree, part of old Slavic pagan traditions) and drink wine with dinner, and then spend time with family following day.

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Old December 18th, 2017, 07:10 PM   #37673
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Orthodox Christmas Day is on January 7th. It is so because of the Roman calendars. Byzantine Empire used the Julian Calendar and Christianity is always on this date. The difference between both calendars is 13 days. This calendar is older than the western version (Gregorian). But I know few exceptions for example Greek Church celebrate Christmas on 25th December although they are by far Orthodoxes. It is modified Julian calendar.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 08:02 PM   #37674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Sounds like a stupid cliché, but let's bring up how you are going to spend your Christmas holidays? :-)

Going out or stay at home? With or without family? Gifts already purchased? :-)
I must visit my parents and my sister (they live in the same house) for Christmas. As they live more than a thousand kilometers apart, of course I'll stay several days there.
And I must give gifts to a lot of family members. The most of them I meet only once a year - at Christmas. Some of them, children, grow fast of course, I think I could pass them by on the street without realizing who they are... OK, I "cheat", I asked my sister to buy them gifts, and I'll pay her for them.
So, yes, Christmas is for me much more an obligation then a feast. I would be quite happy, having Dec 27th just after the 22nd.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 08:41 PM   #37675
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Orthodox Christmas Day is on January 7th. It is so because of the Roman calendars. Byzantine Empire used the Julian Calendar and Christianity is always on this date.
Exceptions exist. The Orthodox Churches of Finland and Estonia follow the Gregorian calendar.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 02:07 AM   #37676
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I will probably go for a walk in the park on Christmas Day with my parents
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Old December 19th, 2017, 08:54 AM   #37677
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Exceptions exist. The Orthodox Churches of Finland and Estonia follow the Gregorian calendar.
I have never heard of that. Good to know. Anyway there is a holiday on the 6th of January in Slovakia called "the arrival of three kings". But except orthodox families, nobody celebrates anything. Just an ordinary religious holiday. And some families take apart their Christmas trees.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 11:27 AM   #37678
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Quote:
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I have never heard of that. Good to know. Anyway there is a holiday on the 6th of January in Slovakia called "the arrival of three kings". But except orthodox families, nobody celebrates anything. Just an ordinary religious holiday. And some families take apart their Christmas trees.
There was a big fight around the question 100 years ago. Finland got its independence, and the Orthodox Church got an official status as a state church. However, the newborn state more or less forced the church to cut is connections to the Russian church. The church seeked for independence, autocephaly, but that was not granted because the church is small. (Currently, about 1.1% of the population are members to the OC.) Instead, the new home was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and the church received quite a wide autonomy.

December 6th happens to be the independence day of Finland. Celebrating that suppresses about everything related to the Christmas.

I have some difficulties to understand the calendar being a major ecclesiastical doctrine: Yes, the Julian calendar is older than the Gregorian one, and therefore more traditional. However, the aim of Julius Ceaser was to establish a calendar, which is able to synchorize the calendar and the seasons of the year. It became apparent that the Julian calendar fails to meet its mission, as it drifts three days per 400 years. If some other body than the Roman Catholic Church had invented the new calendar, the Orthodoc Chuch would have accepted it, I believe.

BTW, the Finnish Church follows the same Easter rule as the Protestant and the Roman Catholic churches. It is a major deviation from the mainstream.

Last edited by MattiG; December 19th, 2017 at 02:36 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 01:16 PM   #37679
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If some other body than the Roman Catholic Church had intented the new calendar, the Orthodoc Chuch would have accepted it, I believe.
Most probably yes. However, it was the Catholic church, so they did not.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 01:23 PM   #37680
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About the calendars I think is political question nowadays. Catholic Rome and the western world has big political influence over the world.
We as Orthodox don't have that much in common with the west, because the great Schism happened long time ago. We are very different.
And there is a modified Julian calendar. As I said previously not only in Greece but also in Bulgaria they celebrate Christmas on 25th December but they are Orthodox.
This is because of political interests.
Julian calendar was 11 minutes late per month so Gregorian calendar was invented in the 1500's in Rome.... By that time the Eastern empire didn't adopt it, because the split was already done.
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