The Nativity of Christ is one of the most important church holidays. After all, it symbolizes the coming of a new, holy soul to earth. All Christians prepare for this holiday for a long time and carefully. This is necessary in order to meet the birthday of Christ according to all the rules.
The basic rule is to celebrate Christmas with pure soul and body. And if everything is clear with the body - you need to take a shower, go to the bath, to the bathhouse, etc., then you need to take care of the purity of the soul in advance. For this, the Orthodox maintain a 40-day fast (the so-called Chetyredyanitsa), receive communion and confess. You can also cleanse your soul by helping others. Therefore, an Orthodox person, in preparation for Christmas, is engaged in charity work (visits prisons, orphanages, nursing homes), and also donates money to the poor.
On the eve of Christmas, Orthodox Christians must also prepare their home for the holiday. Usually, all believers do a general cleaning on this day. The house is then decorated with Christmas symbols. At the same time, women are engaged in the festive table.
As a rule, on January 6 (Christmas Eve) Orthodox Christians do not eat all day. And only at 10 o'clock in the evening for the first time in the whole day you can have a snack. Why at 22.00? Because the first stars appear exactly at this time. The first star that appears is associated with the Orthodox one of Bethlehem, which lit up at the moment of the birth of the Son of God. The very same rule "Until the first star is impossible" is known even to those who are not particularly keen on religion. The exception to food restriction applies only to pregnant women and children - they can eat all day. Then the Orthodox go to church. Of course, only the best, preferably new clothes, are put on to visit the Temple.
The service in the church continues throughout the night. At this time, the priests sing hymns and psalms dedicated only to such a joyful event as the birth of Jesus Christ. Many Orthodox Christians come to the service even with small children. In this way, parents introduce them to Christian culture.
After the end of the church celebration, the Orthodox return home and start breaking the fast. However, it should be borne in mind that, despite the fact that the fast has already ended, meat cannot be eaten immediately. But you can fish in almost unlimited quantities. On the first day, the table should still be lean - kutia, compote, potatoes, salads, etc. Christmas gifts are another enjoyable part of the holiday. They lie in the same way as in the New Year under the tree. Only now you are not allowed to take them until everyone has eaten.
Christmas is celebrated three days. During this period, you need to go to the guests and receive them at home. Each such meeting necessarily takes place with gifts and a feast.