Remember in your childhood you receiving about getting a present from Santa Claus? Perhaps, you still do? Then you should definitely come to Belarus, the country, where people celebrate not just one, but two Christmases!
How is it possible?
Today most of the world lives according to the Gregorian calendar. The Orthodox Church, however, still adheres to the old, Julian calendar. This is why all holidays are celebrated with the 13-day delay.
Most of Belarusians are Orthodox Christians, but the share of Roman Catholics and Protestants is also very significant. That is why major religious holidays like Christmas and Easter are marked as non-working days in the official calendar. People are free to choose which one they want to celebrate.
In Belarus, the ritual of Christmas is therefore closely tied with the folk holiday of Kalyady, with people not only going to church, but also observing rituals of pagan origin, with both traditions fused into a single fest. In the present Belarusian language the word Kaliady describes the whole period of Christmas celebrations. Continue reading “Christmas and New Year in Belarus” »