Christening Christmas Eve

What kind of holiday is this?

Christening Christmas Evewhich is also called On the eve of Epiphany, celebrated by Orthodox Christians on January 18, the day before Jordan or Epiphany. This special evening is part of the cycle of Christmas holidays and precedes the very important event of the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan River, which is celebrated on January 19. The eve of Epiphany is a kind of preparation for the main holiday. Fasting is established on Khreschensky Christmas Eve, and the main dish at dinner is kutya or “sochyvo” – a decoction of wheat with honey and poppy seeds. It is not for nothing that the people call this day the Hungry Day.

How did the idea of ​​celebrating the Epiphany Eve come about?

Until the 5th century, Christmas and the Baptism of the Lord were celebrated on the same day and fell on January 6. In ancient times, this holiday was called Epiphany (Theophany), it testified that the Lord came into the world and was baptized in Jordan. During the Baptism of the Lord, the Trinity appeared. In the 5th century, the date of Christmas was moved to December 25.

The event of the Baptism of the Lord is extremely important for Christians. Therefore, the church singled out the day that precedes it and established a strict fast on this date. The measure of abstinence from food is determined by Orthodox believers personally.


How to celebrate the Epiphany Christmas Eve?

During the days of its existence, the holiday acquired many traditions, rites and beliefs. Sincere believers try to follow them to get blessings.

Consecration of water

On January 18, a liturgy is held in churches, after which the water is consecrated. The Great Consecration of Water – this is how this event is called in church circles and the people – is carried out with great solemnity and memories of the sanctification of water through the Baptism of God himself, who appeared in the world in human flesh. Sanctified water is called agiasma or baptismal water. Since the 11th century, the water has been sanctified twice – on Christening Christmas Eve and on the Epiphany itself. Rites of water consecration are performed in the same way on these days, and the water consecrated on the Eve of the Epiphany and on the day of the Epiphany itself has the same power.

There is a tradition to consecrate houses with baptismal water and chant the epiphany troparion during the consecration. Consecrated water is consumed during the year on an empty stomach with a piece of prosphora – ritual liturgical bread used during the Orthodox service of the Liturgy for the Eucharist. People believe that in this way they will receive a healing power that drives away demons and hostile spirits.

Water consecrated on Epiphany has a strong beneficial effect, which is not lost even after it is diluted with plain water. Holy water should be treated in a special way. The church shrine should be kept in a special place, next to the icons. So it can keep its power for a long time.


Traditional dinner

Fasting is observed on the eve of Jordan or Epiphany. Believers do not eat any food until the evening dawn. In the evening, when the family sat down to the table, it was customary to drink some holy water.

All the dishes used on Epiphany had to be lean. The main dish on the table was hungry kutya, which differed from the usual simple seasoning. Only poppy seeds and honey were added to the kuti. Additional dishes include dried fruit concoction, dumplings, fish. There should not be an even number of dishes on the table. The optimal amount is 7-9 dishes.

Ceremonies

During the whole day of January 18, housewives are cleaning their homes. This is due to the fact that the celebration of Epiphany in an untidy house is a bad omen. At the same time, on Epiphany Eve, hard work was not performed and loud festivities were welcomed. If popular beliefs are to be believed, people baptized on this day will be happy throughout their lives.

Traditionally in Christmas Eve on the eve of the Baptism of the Lord, the girls did fortune-telling, and the children went to charity. During the giving of gifts, it is customary to hand a sprig of hazel to each host. If the benefactors are young men, they usually gave generously under the windows of the girls in the magazine. If a house with a girl was passed by, it meant that she was still young.


Since ancient times, it has been believed that at the Hungry Corner, animals can speak human language. However, eavesdropping on such a conversation could lead to divine punishment.

Signs and beliefs

  • If it snows on the eve of Epiphany, there will be a great harvest of buckwheat, wheat, and honey.
  • Generous morning snowfall – to early buckwheat, heavy snow in the afternoon – medium buckwheat harvest, snow in the evening – late buckwheat will be born.
  • A blizzard on the Epiphany suggests that the same weather should be expected for the carnival. Strong winds from the south during a stormy summer.
  • A dark night without stars means a bad mushroom harvest next fall.
  • Born on the Hungry corner – a calm and prudent man.
  • The trees are poorly covered with snow – there will be no berries. The snow bent the branches – a large harvest of wild berries.
  • A full moon on the eve of Epiphany – expect big floods in the spring.
  • A bright sky studded with stars indicates the fertility of the sheep.
  • Dogs bark loudly in the evening of January 18 – good news for fishermen and hunters, because the year will be successful for them.
  • If on the eve of the Epiphany, livestock are fed with snow, they will easily survive the severe frosts that rage during Epiphany.
  • Do you want chickens to lay well throughout the year? Feed them snow on Hungry Corner.
  • If a patient is covered with snow on January 18, he will soon recover. People say that in this way you can quickly get rid of a headache.
  • If a person went to the bath on Christmas Eve, he will be beautiful and healthy all year.

What should not be done?

  • On the day before the Epiphany of the Lord, it is forbidden to curse, commit unworthy acts and allow bad thoughts.
  • You should not do heavy work, eat food before the evening dawn.
  • Consecration of water and reception of holy water with unholy thoughts is unacceptable, as this causes the water to lose its healing powers.

Why do we love this day?

Because Christening Christmas Eve is celebrated on the eve of the Baptism of the Lord, it helps to prepare for the Great Feast. People have the opportunity to clean their home and sanctify it, preparing for the important memories recorded in the Gospel. The day before the Baptism of the Lord is included in the list of Christmas holidays and makes the celebration of the birth and incarnation of the Lord complete.

This holiday is especially important for Orthodox believers, who carefully observe all the rites of celebrating Christmas and the Baptism of the Lord.

When will we celebrate Christening Christmas Eve?

Year Date Weekday
2021 January 18 Monday
2022 January 18 Tuesday
2023 January 18 Wednesday
2024 January 18 Thursday
2025 January 18 Saturday

Christening Christmas Eve

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