One of the biggest Christian holidays of the Orthodox and Roman Catholics (the last note of his December 25). This holiday is set to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. By Christmas of Christians are preparing a 40-day fast, which is called Christmas. Last day of fasting - Christmas Eve - especially strict. On this day, prohibited use food before the first sunset, which symbolizes the emergence of the Star of Bethlehem, notifying the world about the birth of the Son of God.
From Nazareth to Bethlehem, the city of David Joseph and his pregnant wife, Maria went to the census of the land, held by order of Caesar Augustus. Weary, they sought refuge for the night, but for them there was no room at the inn. Found refuge in the cowshed. And now for seven and a half miles south of Jerusalem, in the small town of Bethlehem, the Virgin Mary gave birth to her firstborn son, and swaddled him and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the hotel ... "(Luke 2:7 ). Joseph called the boy Yeshua (the Greek form of the name Jesus), which is from Hebrew meaning "Savior." During the birth of the Divine Child in the sky has a new bright star, which became the guiding. Seeing her in the East, Magi, who studied the celestial bodies, and went on it to worship the Son of God. And offered him their gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold brought them to him as a king (in the form of tribute or taxes). Myrrh - aromatic resin that is allocated frankincense tree (bosveliey sacred) - a God, because incense is used for worship. And myrrh - a precious fragrant oil - as a man who must die (at the time of the dead buttered mixed with sweet myrrh).
From ancient times to the memory of the event Christians celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born the evening of 6 January, but considering the flour of birth, full-fledged celebration begins on January 7 and lasts for three days.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, born of the Virgin Mary during the reign of Emperor Augustus (Octavius) in the city of Bethlehem. August commanded to do nation-wide census in the whole of his empire, to which then and Palestine.
The Jews had the custom of the people to the census according to their tribes, tribes and genera, every knee, and the family had their own specific cities and Patriarchal place, because Blessed Virgin and the righteous Joseph, as happens on the lineage of David, had to go to Bethlehem (the city of David) to and make their names in the list of subjects of Caesar. In Bethlehem, they have already found no free space in city hotels. In the limestone cave, designed to stall, among the hay and straw scattered for cattle feed and bedding, away from the residence, among strangers, on a cold winter's night, in an environment devoid of not only the world's greatness, but even the usual amenities - born Godman , the Savior of the world.
"Sacrament vizhdu strange and full of glory - with surprise sings the Holy Church, - Sky - den; See cherubic - Virgo; nursery - a container in which the same reclining nevmestimy Christ the Lord" (heirmos the 9 th ode of the canon). Painless birth to the Divine Child Virgin Mary, herself, without assistance, "povit and put it in a manger" (Luke 2).
But among the midnight silence, when all mankind obyato was profoundly sinful sleep, the news of the Nativity of the Savior of the world heard the shepherds who were on night guard at his herd. They brought the angel of the Lord and said: "Fear not: behold, preach the gospel to you show great joy, which is shed will all lyudem, Thou Saviour is born to you this day, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David, and the humble shepherds were awarded the first worship for the salvation of the people to Snisshedshemu "Rabia SPAR. In addition to the angelic proclamation of Bethlehem shepherds wonderful Christmas star was told the Magi "zvezdoslovtsam, and in the face of Oriental sages whole pagan world, invisible to himself - bowed their knees before the true Savior of the world, God-man. Entering in houses where the child was, the Magi - "Fallen worshiped him, and opened his own treasures, prinssosha him gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh" (Mt 2, 11).
Christmas Day anciently canonized by the Church to the great feasts, according to the divine testimony of the Gospel, depicting the celebrated event is the greatest, vseradostneishim and wonderful. "Behold the gospel to you - the angel said to the shepherds of Bethlehem - show great joy, which is shed will all lyudem. Yako you is born Christ, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And suddenly you a sign: ye shall find the Infant povita, lezhascha a manger. At the same time a sudden byst with a lot of howling angel in heaven, praising God and saying: Glory to God, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Divi? ves heard about that spake by the pastors of rozhdshemsya Savior, the shepherds themselves vozvratishasya, glorifying and hvalyasche God of all, which is shed slyshasha and Videsh "(Lk 2, 10 - 20). Since Christmas, as an event of supreme emergency and, accompanied by the wondrous tidings shepherds and wise men of the world of joy for all people "as a Saviour is born", angelic hymns born Savior, the shepherds, and worship him, the Magi, reverent astonishment of many who heard the words of pastors born Otrochati , glorifying and praising Him from the pastors.
According to the divine testimony of the Gospel, the Church Fathers in their God-enlightened writings portray the greatest feast of the Nativity, to the world and joyous, which is the beginning and the foundation for all other celebrations.