Belarus, Officially known as Republic of Belarus, is an East European country which is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest, Poland to the west and Ukraine to the south. Its capital is Minsk and the other major cities in Belarus include Brest, Hrodna (Grodno), Homiel (Gomel), Mahilyow (Mogilev) and Vitsebsk (Vitebsk).
Christmas Celebrations in Belarus :
Belarus’ population has many descendants from the Eastern Slavic tribes and several Baltic tribes. Therefore pagan beliefs and customs do have their roots in the Belarus society and hence Kaliady, a pagan festival celebrated at the end of the year.
In today’s time, Christmas in Belarus is quite an elaborate affair.
The whole atmosphere that characterizes the Christmas in Belarus is fascinating with the natural surroundings finely spread in the enormous sheets of frost and snow. With beautiful and bright garlands and small green and silvery Christmas trees adorning the landscape, you will experience an enriching view of this Belarus Holiday.
The Christmas in Belarus is celebrated actually twice since it’s a Catholic country, on the 25th of December and on the 7th of January respectively. Christmas in Belarus is in the middle of winter and therefore the people of Belarus have a traditional white Christmas. Christmas in Belarus has been celebrated in their traditional ways since immemorial times. Christmas tree is decorated in a traditional manner and the various ornaments are gorgeous. Some of them are even hand crafted. Minsk is beautifully adorned with various Christmas lights and other ornaments. There are innumerable Christmas trees with red five-armed stars at the top decorated the streets named after the political leaders. Christmas gift giving is not common, gifts are given on New Year. The most symbolic factor categorizing the Christmas in Belarus is the Kolyady or the Christmas carols.
Simultaneous a visit to the church or the cathedral is an important ceremony reinforcing the religious aspect of the Belarus Christmas. Country’s maximum celebration can be seen in cities of Minsk and in the Grodno Region. During Christmas festive season in Belarus there are elaborate feasts where boiled rice is taken with raisins and honey, several pies as well as gammon and a goose. Along with these, dishes are also made out of mushrooms; the herring, vereschaka, boiled fruits, oats kissel are the other traditional items in the Christmas feast and to make it more taster nuts and raisins mixed are added to the several dishes.
In Belarus people wish Merry Christmas to each other by saying “Vyaselykh Kalyad”.
We wish all readers Merry Christmas 2016 & Prosperous New Year !!!