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Catholic Christmas is celebrated on 25 December. In more than 145 countries of the world – it’s an official holiday and one of the main religious holidays of the year. In fact, Orthodox and Catholic Christmas, the same roots that go back to ancient pre-Christian culture. So many Christmas traditions Catholics also do not differ from the traditions of Orthodox Christians. Although the features of the Catholic Christmas, still exist.
Features of a Catholic Christmas
For Catholic Christmas plays a much greater significance than the New year. A month before Christmas starts Aventa, a time of strict fasting and repentance. Directly preparing for the holiday starts on December 20. Until the moment when the evening of 24 December, the sky appears the first star, announcing the birth of Jesus, – the period of predprazdnichnoy. From 24 December to 1 January is the feast of the Nativity of Christ, the so-called “octave”, consisting of 8 days. Each day of the festival, in its rather strict rules and dedicated to the memory of martyrs and apostles of the Catholic Church.
December 26 – day of remembrance of St. Stephen, the first Martyr, whom the Jews threw stones for the spread of the Christian faith.
December 27 is the commemoration day of St. John the Evangelist, one of the twelve apostles, who is considered the author of the Book of Revelation and the gospel of John.
December 28 – the feast day of the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem. As you know, King Herod trying to kill baby Jesus, he gave the decree for the extermination of all male babies that were born on December 24-25. Traditionally, on this day the Catholics bless their children.
Great importance Catholics attach to the last days of Christmas. 30 December celebrate the Holy Family and remember the parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. But 1st of January is celebrated the Day of the blessed virgin. This is one of the highlights of Christmas celebrations in the Catholic Church.
For true Catholics, Christmas is a family holiday that has purely religious significance. Usually on Christmas eve all the family members go to Catholic Church for a service, and then, on Christmas Eve, gather at the table. It should be noted that the Christmas meal for Catholics consists exclusively of lean and very light meals, no frills on the tables can not be seen.