Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...Again!

С Рождествom Христова и с Новым годом

Well it's finally Christmas. Yep. One of the neat things growing up in a Russian home was that we were able to celebrate two Christmases

Kinda neat in some ways, but having my Birthday a couple of days before American Christmas was a little difficult but I made up with it because my Saints Day was on January 8th.

Russians don't have St Nick, but have Ded Maroz or Father Frost. Same idea different name. The Russians just didn't happen to make a saint out of him!

I was able to get some goodies for Russian Christmas, usually a cloth bag with an orange, some walnuts that were spray painted silver, some chocolate and a few large coins, silver dollars to be exact,

Then for my Saint Day I would have to go to church, attend mass and celebrate Holy Communion. It was a special day, the family got together on everyone Saints day .

The old Russians celebrate Holydays by the use of the old Julian calender. Our Easter follows the Hebrew Passover schedule always running after Passover. It changes every year.

The Russian Christmas celebrates the Los Reyes Magos.

In Mexico the Christmas season last a long time.

It will run until the first part of February.

The reason for the date is because it symbolizes the arrival in Bethlehem of Wise Men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, this way the children throughout Mexico anxiously await waking up January 6 to find toys and other goodies left by the Reyes Magos (Magi).

In other parts of the world it is customary to leave out shoes where treasures may be deposited by the visiting Wise Men. Treasures ofthen like walnuts and oranges!

The season festivities and celebrations bring a special treat served on this day which is the Rosca de Reyes a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with candied fruits.

Maybe that where the American Fruit Cake got it's origination, you think?

In the bread tiny figures of babies are hidden in the dough before baking. The excitement is when each person cuts his or her own piece, for whoever gets a piece containing a baby is obliged to throw another party on or before then next February.... , yep you got it another Holiday called Candlemas, which is on February 2, when Mexico's holiday season finally comes to an end, or so until the next Holiday which there are hundreds of, ( at least that is what some of the missing workers say is the reason they didn't show up for work, that day!)


Michael Dickson said...

Merry multiple yule, Ken.

Bob Mrotek said...

In Mexico people sometimes refer to Monday as "San Lunes" (Saint Monday) because so many people fail to show up on Mondays :)

ken kushnir said...

Thanks Michael!
Well Bob, it seems that we had a lot of "San Lunes" Holidays during our house construction!
They always show up to get paid though, for some reason?