New Year - it's tangerines, salad "Olivier", "Irony of Fate", Christmas tree, Santa Claus with gifts. Chimes, champagne and coveted wishes at midnight. New year school lights, parties, fireworks. Pianki ... Of course, in every family, every holiday has its own special traditions of celebration. But still, if you believe magazines and newspapers, blogs and TV - a national set of "accessories" is about this.
The Orthodox family, which builds the whole life of their house in accordance with the church tradition, can not accept the entourage of the celebration of the New Year in its general form. First, there is a fast. Secondly, grandiose festivities about the coming of next year necessarily put one of the greatest Orthodox holidays, the Nativity of the Son of God, at the end of a long series of New Year's events. So it happened, and before the revolution the New Year, on the contrary, only supported a series of holy festivities. And now in the West, the conditional, often devoid of its significance, Christmas still clearly prevails over the New Year.
And it turns out so. Someone is trying to connect the New Year from Soviet childhood with the traditions of Orthodox Christmas (nostalgia and reluctance to deprive their own children of "real childhood"). And someone, on the contrary, regards the civil New Year as a non-existent holiday for the Orthodox family. Because it is not in the church calendar.
Fasting, church calendar and Old New Year
But if there is no holiday in the church calendar, this does not mean that it can not be celebrated. In the calendar there is no birthday of my sister, born in the post, but this is a big holiday for my family. On the table there are festive, lenten dishes. And there is no obedience and drunkenness, of course. We celebrate with the Christmas fasting Keeping in the Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patronal feasts, name days. The very fact of fasting does not mean that these dates will be transferred to Christmas.
The calendar was usually a matter of the state, not of the Church and not of nature
Celebrate the New Year 14 January? The fact that our Church, thank God, is true to the old style does not mean that the New Year should be celebrated on the site of the "old" one. In the church calendar and 14, there is no New Year. If you follow the church calendar, the New Year we have on 14 September, and not (or) on 14 January. On this day, the canon of the Indic or New Age is read. So if it is somewhere to endure the "real new year", then at the beginning of September. And so, whatever one may say, the New Year is a conditional thing. For every person, at least, adolescence, the new year begins on the day of birth. And the beginning of this personal new year does not coincide with similar boundaries of even siblings. So "civil new year", the change of one wall calendar to another has the right to attack any day of the year, and now in our country it comes 19 December according to the Julian calendar. Once our Russian state celebrated the New Year in September, and even earlier - in March. Then they moved the beginning of the year to January. Maybe someday our calendars will be counted from 24 June or from 8 October. And the serial number of the year is also a fiction: this is not the exact time from the birth of Christ. In fact, the calendar was usually a matter for the state, not for the Church and not for nature. So if celebrating the change of figures in the date, marking the posting of a new wall calendar, when is it to be done, if not 1 January?
Soviet or pre-revolutionary traditions?
To connect the Soviet New Year and the Orthodox Christmas is to offer your children Instead of Christmas with Christmas and Pararoidean attributes
New Year traditions of pre-revolutionary Russia do not suit us, because the calendar has changed, holidays and the state have changed, and after that - the rhythm of life, school holidays, vacations and weekends, national festivities and the like. We can and must live the life of the Church in our family, but we can not mechanically transfer all aspects of the life of pre-revolutionary Russia to our home. To preserve and preserve at least the basic New Year's Soviet traditions for children who are brought up in Orthodoxy, we also can not. At least because the New Year customs that developed in those decades were basically a conscious repetition, opposition and replacement of the Christmas holiday. Since the advent of such a tradition in Russia, and still around the world, Christmas trees decorate for Christmas. And gifts, and a special table in the house - all this Christmas, and not the New Year. To connect the Soviet New Year and the Orthodox Christmas is to offer your children Instead of Christmas with Christmas and pararozhdestvennimi attributes, and then add the actual Christmas.
The changed order of the location of these holidays, the dates of school holidays and state holidays require to look at the celebration of the New Year with new eyes, not relying on either Soviet or pre-revolutionary traditions. Since this is not a church holiday, since it is generally a very conditional date, we can safely celebrate the New Year as it is convenient for us.
What are we waiting for from the celebration of the New Year in the Orthodox family? That the post should remain a fast. To this time remained the time of preparation precisely for the Nativity of Christ. And so that the time of the New Year holidays remains the same preparation for Christmas, but at the same time it remains a vacation. That our children perceive the holidays in accordance with their true value. And at the same time - they rested, were happy, celebrated no less than their peers from non-church families. And that's what we get.
New Year - a small holiday in the series of Christmas holidays
The New Year is one of the holidays that fall on the Christmas Eve. This is already - something unorthodox for a Russian person. In the Soviet decades, this time was not a fast, because there was no fasting, and for the pre-revolutionary period there was no fasting because they were holy.
To the New Year was "one of", there must be other holidays in the house in the house. To be "one of", these holidays should really be holidays at home.
Ceremonial divine service for the feast of the Presentation into the Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The church began to sing Christmas hymns - we begin. And the irromos in the temple is a sign: it's time to teach carols
Introduction to the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos. The first holiday of the Christmas fast is the introduction to the Temple of the Blessed Virgin. By this holiday we already decorate the house with snowflakes and angels. And the decoration of the house, however, like the decoration of the streets, class, is associated with our children not with the New Year, but with the preparation for Christmas and with this holiday of the three-year-old Mother of God. Christmas Vigil for the first time. It is already a pre-Christmas joy - to hear these prayers in the temple. The church began to sing Christmas hymns - we begin. During the evening prayer we sing these Irmos. And the irromos in the temple is a sign: it's time to teach and repeat carols, for the first time we put CDs with Christmas songs. The festive table on the introduction is not inferior to the New Year's Eve - it's a twinned feast! White special tablecloth, candles on the table ...
St. Nicholas. The feast of St. Nicholas is especially venerated. These are also special prayers, a temple and a festive feast. But still - this is a small miracle. In memory of those sacs with gifts that the saint threw at night to unhappy girls, in many Christian countries children are given gifts. One way or another, this tradition also exists in modern Orthodox families. It is on the eve of the day of Nicholas the Wonderworker that our children lay their toes on a beautiful embroidered napkin. And next morning find in these socks small gifts-surprises. In the family of our friend the priest, the children put out boots on the threshold that day. But this is possible if the neighbors are understanding. And in honor of the feast of St. Nicholas, we decorate the windows with garlands. Gifts in socks, flashing garlands on the windows - all this creates a wonderful holiday mood, and all this - the threshold of Christmas.
Fasting for Christmas
The very beginning of the Christmas fasting shows: we are starting to prepare for Christmas. And the fact that we are trying to fix something in ourselves for this post. And in order to prepare for the celebration of one of the most wonderful holidays in life.
The beginning of fasting is a holiday of self-control, self control. This can be understood by children from the age of eight. Of course, one of the tangible manifestations of fasting is a special meal. We get weaned from ice cream and cakes. Get used to eating something, to think: is it lean, or not? That is, we get used to managing our desires. And fasting is a special, joyful meal - tangerines. A wonderful smell of tangerines - the smell of a Christmas post. Who came up with the idea that it was the smell of the New Year? After all, the season of citrus fruits begins long before 1 January. Just in the beginning of December. Just in the post, at a time when there should be more vegetables, fruits on the table ... So mandarins, fragrant Abkhazian mandarins are the smell of a Christmas fast in our family.
The whole post we are preparing for Christmas, it's for Christmas. From the day of the introduction into the temple we listen, we sing, we learn carols. 7 December is celebrated the day of memory of the Great Martyr Catherine and remains only a month before the Feast. And we start making presents for Christmas. We do on weekends, in rare free hours between schools and other educational activities in which all the older children are immersed. In 20-x numbers we begin to teach poems, roles for the puppet show - right now, before the holidays begin, then only to repeat. We make ornaments from a paper, a foil, a fabric and we dress up the house. This is the most joyful. Ceiling, chandeliers, windows. These leanness decorations are not entirely Christmas-festive-Christmas, but rather just winter ones. That is, not red and gold balls, but snowflakes, angels made of paper and cloth, garlands of paper. It's just the preparation for Christmas. And there are still no decorations on the icons, of course, there is still no Christmas tree. After the day of St. Nicholas, we continue to return to Christmas crafts, but the house is no longer adorned. Until Christmas Eve.
If we teach poetry, prepare crafts for Christmas, then the children will wait for Christmas
What gives us such an advance decoration of the house? Children themselves make crafts, and this - creativity, work, development of imagination. It is important for the younger children to see their handicraft useful, that is, to see the angel made by the hands on the chandelier, and not to be content with the memory of him, but in a box. And yet ... and in the schools, and in stores, and in general on the streets there are decorations for the New Year. If Christmas is our main holiday and we will decorate the house only for Christmas Eve, the children will be a little sad, because there is already a brilliant sparkling fun everywhere, which we do not have in our house. Even can be enviable. In our feature there is nothing wrong, we really are others. But it's still sad, even if the children sincerely share the beliefs of their parents. But if we decorate the apartment for Christmas from the beginning of the post, then our house turns out to be dressed even earlier than the school class will be issued for the New Year. At the same time, after the holiday of St. Nicholas, we stop. So the last decorations are in honor of this saint. It turns out that for the New Year there are no special changes in the interior, and this makes the celebration of the new year for children less significant than the feast of St. Nicholas. And further. If we teach poetry, prepare crafts for Christmas, then children will wait for Christmas, and all other dates, including the New Year, will be intermediate.
New Year's events
Schools usually arrange special New Year's lights. I myself studied in an ordinary school, I had excellent relations with my classmates, but for 10 years I have never visited these events. In my opinion, I have not lost anything. My own children can freely choose: someone wants and goes. And someone does not want and does not go. Of course, school Christmas trees do not shine with high culture, however, like most cultural and mass entertainment in a regular school. Reflection of mass media pop culture, diluted with features of local amateur performance. First-graders are usually curious: what is it? And the one who studies in high school may not be interested if the child is not accustomed to such a culture at home, has a "way out" to the real culture (in the temple, in art classes). Just the Christmas tree in the music school the same child goes with pleasure. In general, it depends on the child himself, on the particular school.
To fir trees were a joy, it is better to present them to children in limited quantities
But we do not go to special Christmas trees in all kinds of culture houses. It is because we love trees, we love good performances and concerts. It is entertainment and a holiday. But this is also hard. It's not even about us, our parents (although we do not have enough hands for each of our children, because everyone can see, calm down, everyone is not easy to help), the children themselves soon get tired of bright, wonderful Christmas trees, which in large numbers excite and tire. Therefore, that the Christmas trees are a joy, and not an exam for the ability to behave in extreme situations, it is better to present them to children in limited quantities. If they are few, they should be the best possible option. A fir-tree in a conservatory or in a village church, in a museum-estate or at home - everyone here has their criteria of "goodness", their capabilities. Since there will be few Christmas trees, these festive events, of course, must fall out on the most festive days. That is, on Christmas day, of course, not on the post. Thus, we go to the Christmas trees, and to Christmas shows to the theaters at the Christmas season, when it's really a holiday. Would go and the New Year, whether they are on Christmas.
Also on Christmas we go on a visit, we receive guests, we are caroling ourselves. Such a rich program should basically meet the five days from Christmas to the beginning of school hours. And more it is necessary to make so that in one day there was not more than one event. So, so that the children's vacation was not only a holiday entertainment, but also a rest, it is necessary to quietly and peacefully live the days free from the festive events, that is, the days before Christmas. Hence, no Christmas trees on New Year's days, and no big guests. Especially - this is the time of strict fasting. So of course it turns out: the week before Christmas should be quiet and calm.
Therefore, we do not go to New Year's trees, except for school. And not to overload the children. And not to interrupt the "appetite" before the best, Christmas events. To the post remained a fast.
If there is an opportunity and a desire to go somewhere before New Year's Eve, we go to concerts of classical music, we watch ballet. No more than one event, be sure before the New Year, not after it. And it makes sense only if it really is a cultural education for our children, not a loss of education.
New year's night
If the decoration of the house, the Christmas tree, gifts we return to the Christmas holiday, then what remains in the house on New Year's Eve? Light festive, but a lean table, similar to a Sunday family meal. Permission for children to eat sweet. What else can be special, what happens only on New Year's Eve?
It so happened that for today the New Year is the only national holiday in our country. And the most interesting is that this is also the only family, the only national holiday, when almost every house feels part of the Russian state. The only holiday in which every house sounds - often only once a year - the anthem of Russia. No matter how people relate to the state power in general and now exists in particular, no matter how these people treat their own country, no matter how rarely they visited their thoughts about the Motherland, on New Year's Eve - and only in the New Year! - all listen to the New Year's message of the President, and after the battle of the chiming clock they drink champagne under the anthem of Russia, and even sing it. And it turns out that today the main song of the New Year is not "The Christmas tree was born in the forest", but the anthem of Russia. New Year is ours, in fact, a national day of the Russian state. This in itself, in my opinion, deserves support. It deserves that we also join this holiday.
Now this is how the New Year sees my children. Like the night in which we have a very late gala dinner. We wait for the appointed time, listen to the President on the Internet, count the clock on the Spassky Tower and together sing the anthem of our country, admiring the night panorama of the Kremlin, with the golden cupolas of its cathedrals, with the flag of Russia against the blue snowy sky ... Pray for the night, we ask God blessings for the coming year (it turns out that we have such a prayer many times a year - on birthdays, anniversaries, in the New Year's Eve ...). Turn off the light. The younger fall asleep first. The older look out the window at the salutes and fireworks ...
This is the celebration of the New Year in our family. We do not have a TV, but there is an on-line translation of the President's speech on the Internet. It is more reliable, however, to download the performance in advance together with the battle of the chimes and the anthem. After all, New Year in Kamchatka comes a few hours before it comes to Moscow, and records from the eastern regions freely walk through the network.
Why did we deprive our children?
The main children's attributes of the New Year are returned to us Christmas Eve. So the "wonderful night" of our children comes on the night of 6 on 7 January on a new style. Our children are not only not deprived of all the basic children's New Year's joys, but they receive them in a much more complete, broad and deep volume. New Year we have turned into the night of the Russian state and the battle of chimes. The fact that my children are "late" with a tree and gifts for a week, I do not mind. In my own childhood, there has always been this "late", and I do not even understand what it can be bad for. Moreover, all parents in our country are not at all embarrassed by the fact that they themselves were late with Christmas trees and gifts, because the "civilized world" presented children with a Christmas tree and presents a week before them - 25 December.
What remains of what is in our New Year celebration with our compatriots, but what have our children been deprived of?
We do not have a mystical hype about the coming and coming of the New Year. How many days, hours and minutes are left before the "hour of X". What symbolic figures will be in the new calendar.
There are no attributes of a new common religion, in which the "symbols of the year" play a special role. Worship is promoted by television, expensive billboards on the streets and cheap souvenir in the crossings, Christmas decorations and postcards in any store. Children decorate school classes with images of these little animals, grandmothers give grandsons of plush snakes, singing dragons, plastic rats - depending on whose image the happiness brings to the person that year. Even the food on New Year's Eve should be "acceptable" to the patron of the year. For the dragon, meat is prepared, and for the sheep - greens ... In the foyer of our school I saw images of goats of green color. It turns out that the coming year is devoted to a goat, not just a simple one, but a wooden one, and even a blue-green one.
Superstition is the religion of people who have been deprived of faith
What else is not in our house? A countless number of superstitions that seem to multiply with each passing year. For example, during a battle of chimes, you must eat a piece of paper on which desire is written, squeezed it with champagne. Desire, of course, will come true. To put on everything new (or at least something new) so that in the New Year everything would be ... new. Yes, clothes, like food, should be acceptable to the beast of the year. Probably, there is still much that I do not even guess. Both young children and elderly teachers all know this, and sometimes they have to wonder at the ignorance of my children. But as a little girl, I knew that such superstitions were a religion of people who had lost faith. And it's not stupid, you can not laugh at this. Because this is another faith. Because it's sad. Because it's scary. Now my children also learn to live with people who hope to please a wooden goat. With faith and hope, they pray to the frosty grandfather about the healing of a sick mother. They revere the ability of this good bearded man to see all the good and evil deeds of every child. Before his power to reward and punish children. With people who know about the fate of their zodiac sign in the coming year. And this, frankly speaking, insanity - and there is the main reason for the Orthodox family to dissociate themselves from a full immersion in the New Year's holiday, not to let him into the house in the form that he now has.
Thank God, in this quantity this madness meets only before the New Year. And the rest of the time we can bring the holidays ourselves to the world, and the world in the face of the school often readily and openly meets the church life. However, this is another topic.
... After the quiet days between the New Year and Christmas, when the whole family gathers together, the long-awaited Christmas Eve comes. In our house there is a living tree. Eight-pointed golden star. The apartment is decorated with tinsel, garlands, spruce wreaths, Christmas inscriptions. On the icons - white towels, spruce branches. In the evening on the table there is a white tablecloth, hay, a wooden bowl with kutya, a candle is lit at the den. But this is, actually, the beginning of Christmas. We are waiting for night service, and then - gifts under the tree ... The miracle of Christmas, the miracle of the holiday, which brings joy, real joy. When heaven and earth triumph together, when angels and people meet the same feast. Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, Baptism - all these holidays are already on the threshold. Holidays, which our children are not deprived of.
If we can bring the children to the joy of Christmas, then the New Year, and other similar holidays will recede into the background
If these, these holidays, come to our house, if we can really bring the children, together with them come to the joy of the Nativity of Christ, then the New Year, and other similar festivals will dim themselves, fade and recede to the second, third, fifth plan . Let the New Year be in the life of our children. As one of the holidays of the Christmas fast. Which remotely recalls the approach of Christmas. Which is so different from all the holidays of our house. After all, usually our celebrations are events only of our family, or holidays of the fullness of the Orthodox Church. Less often we celebrate the days of the historical glory of our Fatherland. And only once a year the holiday of the state in which we now live coincides with the onset of a new calendar year comes to our house.
Can the New Year's Eve "break" the Christmas celebrations? But how is it possible if Christmas is childhood memories, this is the unification of the whole family, this is the Christmas tree and gifts, these are the historical traditions of our Motherland, this service to God, this is the life of the Universal Church, and the New Year ... New Year is a school spark in the end second quarter, this is an unusual night with a battle of chimes and singing of the Russian anthem, views of the Kremlin and fireworks on the streets. It's all interesting, great, but can not outshine even the child's birthday. Especially the birthday of the Savior of the World, the celebration of which unites all possible ideas about the joy of man ...