The Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates the Christmas Eve, thus preparing for the happiest Christian holiday of the Birth of Jesus Christ – Christmas.
The birth of the Savior, whose arrival in the world is celebrated as the beginning of a new era and the happiest event for Christianity, is announced with vigil service and taking Yule log into Orthodox temples.
In the Christmas Eve, the straw is spread all over homes that are converted into the Cave where the Jesus was born. The straw lies for three days in the village houses, while in the city, the straw is placed next to the Yule log.
There is also a tradition that houses are sprinkled with corn grains and numerous other rituals that give a Christian meaning since Jesus came to bring people together and feed them with his wisdom and love.
“Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty,” as written in the Gospel.
On Christmas Eve is served Christmas dinner, which is usually prepared the day before. In the Orthodox houses, the Christmas Eve is a family holiday, when people gather around the obligatory dinner – lean dishes, fish, plums, nuts…
Christmas is always the first day of breaking fast, and the day when those who have respected the rules of the Christmas fast pay their respect in churches.
The Christmas Eve is celebrated on January 6, by all Orthodox churches and believers who respect the Julian calendar – the Russian Orthodox Church, the Jerusalem Patriarchate, St. Gora, Greece and the Egyptian Copts.