Russian Christmas is rich with beautiful traditions. Here comes the keeping of strict fast until the first star on Christmas Eve and the lightening of candle at the window on Christmas night, that symbolizes the warmth and home waiting for Saint virgin Mary and righteous Joseph in this house.
And of course, the principal place is taken by merry outings at Christmas night – koliadlki, which were the part of a pagan holiday and later joined Orthodox Christmas. The word “koliada” means in Latin “calendae” (calendar) and has different meanings.
Koliadki are Christmas carols sang by youth, they didn’t have an author and often were illiterate, but anyway were considered beautiful by the sense, sincerity and merry kindness. Koliadka is a small Christmas story about the greatest event and glorification of the night that brought this Joyous news – the Savior was born. Youth had fun wonderfully well: guys took on women’s clothes and the girls did on the contrary; the faces were dirtied with coal so that they looked like gypsies. Then they gathered in a noisy crowd of people and went in every house on their way, singing carols and merry songs. The host thanked the singers with bread, sausages, meat in aspic, sugar, and even flour or a coin – with everything the person is rich.
Koliadki are small rolls made from unleavened dough with different fillings. In Karelia koliadki are called kalitki and Karelian women usually said: “Kalittoa kyzzy kansksoa”, meaning “kalitka needs eight”. That is to say to make koliadki you need eight ingredients: flour, water, clabber, salt, milk, butter, sour cream and filling. The fillings were made from any products in the way: mushrooms, kasha, tvorog, berries, cheese, carrot, potatoes and others.
Besides that at Christmas-tide also were kissing parties with masked performances (sale of a horse, grandparents and other). Such parties were ended accordingly to their name and aimed at gathering a rich harvest, so young girls and guys worked hard: “Kiss in the lips, the wheat will be rich”
Merry Christmas and have fun first-rate!