Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Of Christmas and Trade-Offs

My nephews on Christmas Day, 2009

Craciunel- the traditional Christmas braid. Kept near the icon till spring, given to cattle after giving birth

Craciunel topping my Christmas Tree

Not all the world celebrates Christmas on December 25th. Russia, Moldova and a few more countries officially celebrate this holy day on January 7th- The Orthodox Church uses the old Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. In Moldova both styles are celebrated, though the rural Moldova still sticks to the Gregorian calendar. This being said, the rural rocks!

There are many beautiful traditions connected to Christmas, caroling and group singing and "staging" different plays being amongst the kids' favourites. Kids start off caroling about noon and go from house to house until dusk, being replaced by older crowds. Kids would carry a wooden bar for collecting the "colachi"- the round braided breads with a whole in the middle, and of course, large mittens for the money they would get along with the bread- the best part I suppose!

Good food is always part of the winter holidays, but I am not going to dwell on this topic since I have to mention the "pig slaughtering" and all that comes with it...not now.

This year my mother spent her Christmas in US- and she loved the glamour and buzz around it here. I, on the contrary, love the simple ways of Moldova-but I wonder for how long they are going to stay simple, since the globalization surely is having an impact on every aspect of life in Moldova. Well well...

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Christmas Colachi, Moldova, 2008- ...and the effects of global warming :)

Braided Christmas Wreath, US 2010

And the BIG question: Will she trade off this one for that one?

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