Catholic Christmas: Western Christmas is almost here

18:28 Dec. 23, 2016

Western Christmas is almost here

Christmas pictures (Getty Images)

On December 25, Catholic Christians are celebrating Christmas. UT presents peculiar elements without which the holiday would be impossible

Christmas is a religious and cultural holiday celebrated by billions of Christians around the world. Catholic Christmas is different from Orthodox celebrations. December 25 in 350 AD was proclaimed the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ by Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome. But Ukraine commemorates the birth of Christ on January 7.

Modern customs of the holiday, which are similar for both traditions, include church services, gift giving, special meal and Christmas trees. 

Christmastide - a season of liturgical year, which is also known as Twelvetide - is peculiar Catholic festive tradition. This period starts on Christmas Eve on December 24 and ends on January 5. The customs, which are observed at this season include carol singing, seeing nativity plays, eating Christmas cakes and presenting gifts.

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Nativity scene is a crucial element of Catholic Christmas (Photo: Getty Images)

The most common Christmas meals are turkey, mince pies and cake. Earlier, the traditional Christmas dish in UK was a pig's head with mustard.

Gingerbread cookies are also popular for Christmas, as freshly baked treats fill the house with the smells of Christmas.  

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Children play in gingerbread house (Photo: Getty Images)

Mistletoe is very specific decoration for Catholic Christmas and it is, actually, a symbol of romance. This plant is hang in a house on Christmas and two people, who stand under it should kiss.

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 It is considered a bad luck to refuse a kiss beneath the mistletoe. (Photo: Getty Images)

Another specific tradition is hanging stocking. Children normally hang their stocking on chimney before going to bed and in the morning they discover gifts, which Santa leaves for them.

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And no Western Christmas is possible without legendary song 'White Christmas', which is the best selling single of all times, with over 100 million sales worldwide.

UT wishes Merry Christmas to all, who are starting Christmastide celebrations!

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