Christmas- traditions and customs. by Cvetelina Todorova - Illustrated by Kristian Krastev - Ourboox.com
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Christmas- traditions and customs.

by

Artwork: Kristian Krastev

  • Joined Nov 2022
  • Published Books 2

Contents

Christmas Eve – the holiday of the family.

How did Christmas start?

Saturnalia and Christmas.

Is Christmas really the Day Jesus was born?

When Christmas was cancelled.

Who invented Santa Claus.

Christmas recipes.

1

Christmas Eve – the holiday of the family.

 

 

On December 24, we celebrate one of the brightest Christian holidays – Christmas Eve. In different parts of the country, it is called by different names – Sukha Koleda, Krachun, Malka Koleda, Deteshka Koleda, Mali Bozic, Naiadka. Despite the various names of the holiday, everyone is unanimous that at midnight, according to the Orthodox Church, Jesus Christ was born in a cave near Bethlehem.

Then an extraordinary light blazed in the sky and an angel appeared to announce the good news to the shepherds who were nearby. There are also folk beliefs, according to which the Mother of God became pregnant on Assumption Day and gave birth to a young god on Little Christmas, but announced this the next day.

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History of Christmas - Origins, Traditions & Facts - HISTORY

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On December 24, we celebrate one of the brightest Christian holidays – Christmas Eve. In different parts of the country, it is called by different names – Sukha Koleda, Krachun, Malka Koleda, Deteshka Koleda, Mali Bozic, Naiadka. Despite the various names of the holiday, everyone is unanimous that at midnight, according to the Orthodox Church, Jesus Christ was born in a cave near Bethlehem.

Then an extraordinary light blazed in the sky and an angel appeared to announce the good news to the shepherds who were nearby. There are also folk beliefs, according to which the Mother of God became pregnant on Assumption Day and gave birth to a young god on Little Christmas, but announced this the next day.

 

 

 

4

 

Family celebrating Christmas. Merry Christmas! Happy family are having dinner at , #Aff, #M… | Menú de la cena de navidad, Mesas de cena de navidad, Cena de navidad

Read holiday books before bed each night. The Polar ExpressSanta Mouse, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are all excellent tales to boost your family’s holiday spirit.

Go to a tree farm to locate the perfect Christmas tree. At home, decorate it as a family or let the kids do their thiing. Have some treats and hot cider or cocoa on hand to keep energy levels up!

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Use an advent calendar to count down to Christmas. There are many varieties of advent calendars, from candles that are burned daily to boxes you open daily.

Set aside one night each week to watch a holiday movie or television special, such “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Have your child start an ‘I Am Thankful’ list. Have him add one thing he is thankful for each day. You can turn this into a decoration by having him write it on a paper Christmas tree or snowflake that you then hang across the fireplace or some other area.

Purchase or make a holiday ornament for each child every year. This is a great reason to reminisce during holiday decorating.

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Christmas Eve

 

 

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Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25—Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.

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How Did Christmas Start?

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

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The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.

In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

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Saturnalia and Christmas

In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, enslaved people were given temporary freedom and treated as equals. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could participate in the holiday’s festivities.

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Is Christmas Really the Day Jesus Was Born?

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century.

 

12

When Christmas Was Cancelled

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cronwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings.

 

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Candy Cane-promo-GettyImages-877020784

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Who Invented Santa Claus?

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nikolas who was born in Turkey around 280 A.D.St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick, becoming known as the protector of children and sailors.

St. Nicholas first entered American popular culture in the late 18th century in New York, when Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation.

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Christmas gingerbread bird house with colourful, icing decorations

Christmas recipes

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Christmas recipes.

Easy turkey.

A plate serving easy turkey crown

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Ingradients

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 2kg turkey, crown on the bone
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice or a pinch of ground cloves

For the glaze

  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
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Serve a traditional roast turkey for Christmas without the fuss. Use the sticky glaze you’d get on a ham to add flavour and golden colour to a turkey crown. Method of preparing:

  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Smear the butter all over the turkey crown and season all over with salt and half the five spice. Put in a roasting tin, skin-side up, and roast for 30 mins. While the crown is roasting, mix all the glaze ingredients in a bowl with the rest of the five spice.

  • STEP 2

    Remove the crown from the oven and brush the skin generously with half the glaze. Continue to roast for another hour, glazing twice more, until cooked all the way through and the glaze is sticky and caramelised.

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Roast chestnuts.

Chestnuts on tray

20

Make a batch of roast chestnuts for a festive Christmas treat to share with guests. Try our easy method and make the most of these seasonal bites.

Ingredients-16 chestnuts (or as many as you need), choose large, shiny looking nuts.

Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put each chestnut flat-side down on a chopping board. Hold the chestnut carefully and, using a sharp knife, cut a long slit or a cross in the top. Make sure you cut through the shell but not the nut inside. The shell is tough and flexible like a skin rather than rock hard like other nut shells, so a small kitchen knife works well.

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  • STEP 2

    Tip the nuts onto a baking sheet or into a roasting tin and arrange them cut-side up. Roast for 30 mins. The cuts should open up and the shell will start to peel back.

  • STEP 3

    Leave the nuts in the tin to cool down to warm – they will be very hot inside. Put a board on top of the tin while they cool to trap the steam and make them easier to peel. Serve as they are for people to peel, or peel them yourself to use in a recipe.

  • STEP 4

    If you peel them, you may want to remove the inner, slightly fluffy, membrane as well. If the membrane is difficult to get off (it shouldn’t be if you steam them as they cool), you can soak the nuts in boiling water.

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Christmas chocolate cake.

Christmas chocolate cake on a cake stand with slices taken out

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Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for the tins
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 200g light brown soft sugar,
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ nutmeg,finely grated
24

For the buttercream and decoration

  • 200g unsalted butter softened
  • 500g icing
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ nutmeg, finely grate
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Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter two 20cm round springform cake tins and line with baking parchment. Tip the butter, chocolate and sugar into a pan set over a low heat, stirring until fully melted together. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb, salt and spices. If the batter is too thick, you can loosen it with up to 3 tbsp milk, gradually adding it until the batter drops off the spoon with ease, but isn’t runny.

     

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Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • STEP 2

    For the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric whisk the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until you have a light, fluffy buttercream. Beat in the vanilla.

  • STEP 3

    Put one of the sponges on a cake plate or stand, and spread a thick layer of buttercream on top. Sandwich with the other sponge and repeat with more buttercream.

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Spread the rest of the buttercream over the sides of the cake, scraping them slightly to create a ‘naked’ effect.

  • STEP 4

    For the decoration, combine the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, then tip into a small sieve. Dust over the top of the cake, or use two strips of baking parchment to make a stripe template and dust a neat stripe on the surface. Cut into slices to serve. Will keep chilled for up to three days.

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