Catholic Christmas in 2020
The warmest home holiday uniting families in Catholic countries is Christmas. Despite the winter cold, cold wind, slush, everyone these days seeks to return home, take part in decorating the Christmas tree, buy gifts, and taste delicious dishes.
When Christmas is with Catholics in 2020
For many years, tradition has not changed - Catholics celebrate Christmas on the night of 24 to 25 of the last month of the year. It is believed that it was at this time that Jesus Christ was born. The celebration begins on the evening of the 24th. This is the so-called Christmas Eve. In 2020, Catholic families will gather to celebrate on Thursday evening, and will open gifts, meet friends, have fun and enjoy the holiday on Friday, Saturday and, of course, on Sunday.
In 2020, Catholic Christmas falls on Friday, December 25th.
It should be noted that Christmas is a special day of the year for Catholics. It is filled with centuries-old traditions linking families together, filled with aromas of special dishes, ginger, cinnamon. And houses, public places and squares decorated with mistletoe branches, fir trees and numerous toys give comfort, a soft feeling of happiness, confidence in the future.
A bit of history
There is no information about when exactly Jesus Christ was born. The Bible does not contain any information on this subject. However, there is confirmation that in 337 AD e. Pope Julius I issued an order in which he approved the date of the celebration. According to one version, the date corresponded to the day of the winter solstice, which was in those days on December 25th. With this day, many European nations associated pagan holidays. So, in Germany, Yule was noted. People walked into the forest, cut down the spruce, decorated it with products and things that were called to appease the gods. In the Roman provinces, Saturnalia was celebrated. They should have been replaced by Christmas. According to one theory, the holiday and its date are simply assigned. Confirmation of this version is found in the surviving documents. It is to the middle of the 4th century. AD refers to the first mention of Christmas. In the Roman almanac among bishops, martyrs, the date of birth of Jesus was also indicated.
In the 5th century the custom appeared to serve three masses in different temples. The first was held at midnight as a sign that the Son of God would be born, the second at dawn as a symbol of the birth of Jesus. The third was spent in the afternoon. She was called to bring faith in Jesus to the souls of believers. By the middle of the 13th century refers to the emergence of the tradition of putting in the temples a manger with a clay or wooden figurine of the newborn Christ.
Tradition of celebration
For most Catholics, Christmas is a day whose tradition of celebration is of great importance. From century to century they have been modified, but in the center there has always been faith in the divine. In many countries, celebration begins four weeks before Catholic Christmas itself. This is the so-called Advent - time out. On the first day, children are presented with gifts - those who behaved well receive sweets. For bad deeds the child receives coals. The Advent calendar is designed or posted in a conspicuous place. Adults hide sweets in small bags or pouches. Every morning, the children open one of them, in accordance with the date, and enjoy the sweet gifts.
Every Sunday in December, candles are lit. There are four of them; they are installed on one wreath. On the first Sunday light one. This is the Candle of Prophecy, and it is associated with the prediction of the birth of the Son of God. On the second Sunday - two, and the new one is a symbol of birth. In the third, three are lit, the newly lit one tells of faith in Christ. The fourth candle, lit on the fourth day, announces the coming of Jesus. In temples, special services are held every Sunday.
The tradition of setting up a nursery with a newborn Jesus on a holiday gradually passed into the homes of ordinary people. Now it’s not only a day nursery, but a nativity scene with figures of the Virgin Mary, the baby, the Magi. If earlier the figures were simple, dressed in canvas clothes, now these are real works of art. Another tradition that is present in Catholic countries from year to year is Christmas markets. They are installed in late October and lasts until Christmas. The counters are filled with toys, sweets. Here you can enjoy warm drinks and eat traditional dishes.
In all countries, it is customary to decorate homes, apartments, offices, shops. In the central squares, as in houses, Christmas trees are installed. Entire streets shimmer with different colors, shine, burn with magic lights. Spruce decorated with toys has long become a symbol of the tree of paradise, abundance and longevity. Mandatory attribute of the holiday - mistletoe branches. They are hung above the door, dining table. It is believed that the plant has the ability to protect against envy, evil.
On the night of Catholic Christmas, Santa Claus always flies into each family, he brings gifts with him, puts them in pre-prepared socks, hung over the fireplace, or under the Christmas tree. At work, many await prizes and presentations from superiors.
What is prepared in different countries
On Catholic Christmas Eve, the whole family gathers at the festive table. The menu depends on the traditions of the country:
- Gooseberry sauce and vanilla-flavored pudding are served in England.
- A mandatory attribute of Christmas in France is a turkey baked in wine. On holiday, cheeses and seafood are served. Washed down with champagne.
- In the Czech Republic, carp is cooked in sour cream sauce.
- Denmark is famous for a goose stuffed with apples, and a duck can be served instead. For dessert, rice porridge with cinnamon flavor, dried fruits, pudding is served.
- In Germany, a goose is cooked with apples, prunes, and wine. It is impossible to imagine Christmas without gingerbread. The smell of ginger has so merged with this holiday that it is already considered one of the symbols of the Christmas festivities. Fragrant strudel with dates, nuts, added to the usual apple filling, also will not leave anyone indifferent.
Turkey and duck are served in many Catholic countries, but, for example, in Austria or some countries of the Balkan Peninsula, it is believed that if you prepare a bird for the Christmas table, happiness and luck will fly away.
From the video, find out about the main differences between Catholic Christmas and Orthodox:
And a beautiful holiday greetings: