Sunday, December 23, 2012


CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS? - Before you say that Christmas is celebrated only on 25 December just wait for a while and think, is Christmas just celebrated on one day? The answer is No! Many of us celebrate Christmas for a day or two but do you know that Christmas is a 12-day-celebration? Twelve days of Christmas begins on December 25 and ends just before Epiphany that falls on January 5th or 6th. Epiphany is a Christian feast that is marked to celebrate the 'shining forth' or revelation of God to the whole humankind.  
First Day: In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the great feast that is also known as 'Nativity of our Lord' starts on the Christmas Eve that is 25th of December. The first day of Christmas signifies the Nativity of Christ. Nativity of Jesus, the Adoration of the Shepherds of Bethlehem and the arrival of the Magi all mark the first day of Christmas. Second Day: The second day is referred to as the Synaxis of the Holy Theotokos. It also commemorates the role of Virgin Mary in the incarnation of Jesus' mother. 

Third Day: Third day of the Nativity is also called as feast day of the Protodeacon and the Protomartyr Saint Stephan. Fourth day: 29th of December or the fourth day of Christmas is referred to as the Orthodox Feast of the Holy Innocents. Fifth and sixth day: The after feast of Nativity continues till 31st of December. These days are also known as the Apodosis or leave-taking of the nativity. 
Seventh day: According to the Russian Icon of the Theophany, there was another feast of the Lord on January 1st. This feast is known as Circumcision of the Lord. It is also believed that on the same day Saint Basil also had feast with the common men. And thus the services celebrated on the day are also called as Divine Liturgy of the Saint Basil. Eighth to Eleventh days: January 2nd begins with the Forefeast of the Theophany that lasts for 3 days. Twelfth day: The day is also known as 'Paramony' or the 'Great Blessing of Water' which marks the day when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in Jordan River. After this comes Epiphany day, also called The Day of the Kings.

The Twelve days of Christmas are significant as they include the birth of Jesus Christ, his childhood events, and his journey to Baptism. As regards the last day of Christmas celebration, Apoorva Srivastav, author of the article, reports that this twelfth day is a day of fasting. She explains that according Christian mythology the Lord has given order to his people to observe strict fast and not eat until the first star is seen at the night.  After the twelfth day comes Epiphany, normally on January 6, which marks the day when a group of Kings or Magi (Casper, Melchior and Balthazar), as related in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, arrived to worship and bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens.

We are approaching a very significant date for most people in this world, Christmas. This is a special moment for meetings, joys, gifts, so many feelings that may not commonly occur at other times of year.  ... Christmas means celebrating the advent of a pure and enlightened soul, which descends from the spiritual plane for the sole purpose of spreading among us a message of spiritual love, and then to fulfill its specific mission, returns to his eternal home next to Supreme Being. ... Try to really celebrate Christmas ... and instead of thinking of receive we can want to give; but not to give material elements, but to what Christ and all the great teachers have given us - and what they still continue giving - a message and example of how to mold our lives according to the will of the Supreme.  To the extent that we can assimilate and share these valuable insights, we can strictly say that we are truly celebrating Christmas.

Śrīpad Bhakti Vedanta Padmanabha Mahārāja :
Cierra Tus Ojos y Mira - “Christmas Meditation”

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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