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Orthodox Christmas Eve – 2023

It’s been -27 in Moscow all day on January 6th. On a day like this one wants to stay home and to watch the life going by…

As I’m writing this, there are some fireworks outside. I went out shortly, got myself the daily planner I wanted, bought some coffee, took a couple of photos, and came home.

The eve of Nativity is always a long, homely night. We are expecting the Light to shine upon us amidst the snow and freezing temperatures.

In the last few years, after I joined the Russian Orthodox Church, I realized how much I miss the spirit of preparing for this holiday. Nativity and the preceding fasting period is the time of introspection and at the same time of preparing to something miraculous. The miracle of Life, the miracle of Light, the miracle of Love. This is what Nativity is all about.

And I really regret that, as a child, I wasn’t brought up in this tradition of expecting the solemn eve of Nativity holiday. Of singing the Russian carols, or cooking the special sochivo dish and the Christmas meal, or reading the prayers and lighting the candles.

On another note, the ceasefires has been proclaimed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So we also pray that those religious and faithful people to choose to visit the Russian Orthodox Churches in the war zone will remain alive, safe and sound. Likewise, we pray that those Russian Orthodox people who visit their places of worship in other countries tonight will be protected and remain safe and sound.

Happy Christmas Eve

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Julia Shuvalova is the author of Los Cuadernos de Julia blog. She is an author of several books, a translator, and a Foreign Languages tutor. She lives and works in Moscow, Russia.

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