One of the most calming things you can do is light a candle in a quiet Orthodox church. I last did that in Kalamata this past summer as a refuge from the extreme heat outside. It was a moment of tranquility in the middle of a lovely yet hectic day.
Above are people celebrating Christmas in Serbia, which is today. Every holiday is 13 days behind the regular Orthodox calendar, except for Easter which is on the same date. They have pushed this idea further in order to give themselves 2 New Year’s Days. Yep, it’s coming up in a week. And they have statutory holidays on January 1st and January 13th for the same holiday. Where do I sign up? As a Greek Orthodox, there is a close relationship I feel with other Christian Orthodox countries all, for the most part, formerly communist. There is a comraderie that goes beyond politics. Even during the cold war, Greece was prone to trust the Soviet Union more than the west, even if its ideology was more similar to the west’s. Again, there is some kind of eternal kinship that magnetically holds these differing cultures together. And although the Eastern bloc is much more rigid than say Greece and Bulgaria, everyone has the others’ backs. We can accept this as fact at this point based on your blind trust for my astuteness. Otherwise, there will have to be a long winded historical and moral analysis that will veer way off topic.
Below is a sampling of a Serbian Christmas table.
Serbian food tends to have a modest taste that’s easy on the mouth. Yet there are little intricacies that accentuate the presence of the ingredients. Most have compared Serbia to Ireland in terms of food and lifestyle. Perhaps it’s the potato and cabbage winter staples that explain the former.
No, they’re not upset and looting. The picture above is part of the Serbian Christmas traditions.
Above are 2 photos of the Belgrade Christmas market, touted as one of the best in Europe and on many people’s itineraries.
The biggest country in the world celebrates Christmas today as well. Russia woke up under a severe cold spell but still looked picturesque as seen below.
How’s that for a ice slide?
Merry Christmas to all celebrating today.