January 6, 2011

Orthodox Christmas

Today is Orthodox Christmas. I grow up in a family that celebrated two Christmases, having a Catholic father and an Orthodox Mother, and as a child I looked forward to those holly-days, though newer baptized (my father thought that, should be my choice when I become a man (thank you Dad)). We didn't exchange gifts or spent a week frantically shopping or whatever people do nowdays, we were just together, decorating a tree, went to church. And then came the 90's, and war, we converted from socialism to "democratic society". To gain more power ower people, politicians did some services to the church (Vatican) in return they gave something back, politics were spoken from the altar. Along with national pride, new fashion was in, becoming an express christian, religious beliefs were mixed with nationalism, and along with people guns were blessed. Tragically the war was between Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim. I have a respect for honest Christians and Muslims i hope they won't get offended by this, it is history.... Loosing fate in institutions doesn't mean loosing fate in people. There are beautiful people out there with flags of different colours. To those of you celebrating today, I wish a Marry Christmas,
Христос се роди! Hristos se rodi!

Orthodox Chants from Russia

1. Psalm 104: Bless the Lord, O my soul
2. The Great Litany [Liturgical Chant]
3. Blessed is the Man [Kiev Chant]
4. Lord, I have cried unto Thee (Tune of the Optina Pustyn Monastery)
5. Stichera (tune of Kiev-Pechera Lavra)
6. Glory, Stichera ("At God's Back")
7. Joyful Light [Znamenny Chant]
8. Vouchsafe, O Lord [Tune of the Optina Pustyn Monastery]
9. Stichera in the Litany [Znamenny Chant]
10. Stichera in the Versicles [Znamenny Chant]
11. Now Lettest Thou Depart
12. Hail, O Virgin


thegoodone will all let us pass

More christian chants, posted lately.



Thanky ou Irate.

Learn more of Russian chants trasnslated to English texts?

This is how it is Christmas in our neighbouring country.
Christmas for Serbs who are Christian Ortodox, comes two weeks later than that of Roman Catholics. Serbs do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but on January 7th, while they celebrate New Year on January 13th rather than on December 31st. This is because the Serbs follow the Julian calendar, while Roman Catholics follow the Gregorian calendar.

The Gregorian reformation of the calendar came into force on 1582. It made corrections in the Julian calendar, the ten days from October 5th to 14th were canceled. Of course, not all countries changed over to the Gregorian calendar at that time. Germany, for instance, didn’t accepted the Gregorian calendar until 1775, while Bulgaria didn’t do so until 1917!

Serbs, like the most other people, accepted officially the Gregorian calendar, but all holidays, specially of cultural or religious contents, were celebrated according to the Julian calendar.

Badnje Vece – Christmas Eve
January 6th

On the day before Christmas, the 6th of Januray, Serbs celebrate Badnje Vece. It is necessary to prepare badnjak (yule log) in advance. The Christmas Eve got its name from the badnjak tree. Actually badnjak is the most beautiful young oak that one can find in the woods.

The 6th of January, in the morning, the habit is to go in search of badnjak (oak branches with leaves). When the right one is found, it is necessary to cut it and bring it to the door of the home and to leave it there.

In the villages, where one still can find homes with old-fashioned hearths, the custom is that the father and the oldest sun go out to pick up the badnjak and to nock on the door of their home. Mother opens the door. Entering, they should say to the mother: "Welcome to you Badnje Vece! ("Christmas Eve")" and take the badnjak to the fireplace and place it on the fire to augure good fortune.

The custom is also to put straw around the fireplace, to simulate the connection with the earth. Usually, Serbs put coins, walnuts, almonds, dry figs on the straw, all the gifts for the children.

The traditional January 6th supper for Serbs is religious diatary meals, usually fish.

Christmas Eve supper is very interesting. It is very rich even if it is always meatless meal. Symbolically the food is always related to the world of death – baked beans, fish, dryed figs, dryed plums and apples.

At the end of supper, all the rests of the food should be left on the table and covered with a tablecloth, until Christmas morning. The belief is that during the night the spirits of the dead come to eat the food left for them. This way Christmas Eve has the character of All Souls’ Day

Before going to bed it is very important to cover the badnjak with hot ash so it will burn slowly to the following morning.

Koljivo (also known as zhito) is a sweet boiled wheat dish used liturgically in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Compare koljivo to Polishkutia. The most striking difference, perhaps, is that Poles eat their wheat pudding almost exclusively on Christmas Eve, and Orthodox Christians eat theirs on Christmas Day and after a funeral, on the first Friday of the Great Lent, and at slavas.

Recipes vary widely from household to household, but usually consist of boiled wheat berries with honey or sugar, nuts and, sometimes, dried fruits, cinnamon and cream.

Makes 8 servings Serbian Cooked Wheat Pudding - Koljivo (Zhito)
Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 4 hours


Note: Wheat berries are available at health food stores and online, but kamut berries, whole-grain barley or rice can be substituted (cooking time must be adjusted) with good effect.

  • 1 pound wheat berries, picked over and thoroughly washed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground (not chopped) walnuts
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, rum or almond flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place washed wheat in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with several inches of hot water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and wash it well in lukewarm water 2 times.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring wheat, 4 quarts water and salt to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender. Do not overcook. When wheat is done (anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours), rinse in lukewarm water and strain twice. Let the wheat stay in the strainer over a bowl to catch the drips overnight.

The next day, mix wheat with walnuts, sugar, flavoring and cinnamon. Transfer to a large glass bowl and decorate.

To serve for a funeral, mound the koljivo into a shape resembling a grave. Sometimes the entire surface is dusted with confectioners' sugar and the deceased's initials are outlined on top with raisins, or a cross is made with raisins or sugar cubes. A candle often is placed in the center of the koljivo and lighted at the beginning of the memorial service and extinguished at its end. After the ceremony, those attending eat the koljivo while expressing good wishes for the departed.

1 comment:


    for sharing your thoughts
    the music and Koljivo...


    yes so much more needs to be said here...
    bad religion...
    soo many lies...
    soo much suffering...
    the people are right...
    the church is wrong.


    Happy new year to all your people and neighbours :)