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Lean dishes are served on Christmas Eve to elevate soul to holiday’s essence

Photo: BGNES

In the Christian world, the Nativity of Christ is seen as a celebration of the hope that is born to fill the hearts of believers with joy. The daily vanity gives way to the family holiday and the people closest to the heart.

In the Bulgarian Orthodox tradition Christmas Eve is celebrated with lean dishes in a close family circle. Everyone is waiting for the Creator to be born through Christ, in order to make the world a better place with His love. This is the love that will change even the heart of the thief who knew God in the eyes of the Savior.


In essence, the holiday is dedicated to children who perceive the world with pure hearts and faith in miracles. They are the ones who really enjoy the holiday and are actively involved in the preparations and decoration of the home. Arranging the Christmas tree, kneading the holiday bread and the other folk traditions are symbolic of attracting divine protection.

And if we look closely at the individual elements of the decoration we will find that the wreath on the door resembles Christ's crown of thorns, and the Christmas tree - the heavenly tree of knowledge. The decorations are symbols of the apple which Eve used to seduce Adam. The star at the top of the tree recreates the Star of Bethlehem, which pointed the way of the three wise men to the infant Jesus. The lighted candle is the flame of love and light in the heart of Jesus Christ, which brings believing Christians out of the darkness.

You can learn more about the symbolism of the holiday in the article "Symbols of Christmas", from the collection of Radio Bulgaria.


Compiled by: Darina Grigorova

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: BGNES
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