What does Russia do for Christmas?

In the days of the Soviet Union, Christmas is not very celebrated. New Year was made in the important time. After the revolution in 1917 Christmas was banned as a religious holiday in 1929, and Christmas trees were banned until 1935 when they turned into ‘ Nuwejaarsbome ‘! If people would like to celebrate Christmas, they had to do it in secret just in their families.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, people were able to celebrate Christmas again. But it is still a quieter and smaller vacation in Russia after the big Nuwejaarsvieringe.

The new Year is the best time to spend a lot of money and to eat and drink a lot. Christmas is much more religious and private.

New Year is also when ‘ grandfather Frost ‘ (in Russian known as ‘ Ded Moroz ‘ or Дед Мороз) brings gifts for children. He is always accompanied by his granddaughter (Snegurochka). On the Nuwejaarsaand keep children hands, make a circle around the Christmas tree and cry to Snegurochka or Ded Moroz. When they appear, the star and others are lights on the Christmas tree! Ded Moroz has a great magical staff. The traditional greeting for a happy New Year is ‘ S Novym Godom ‘.

Christmas in Russia is normally celebrated on 7 January (only single Catholics can celebrate it on 25 December). The date is different because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the old ‘ Julian ‘ calendar for religious fourdays. The Orthodox Church also celebrates Advent. But it took fixed dates, which started on 28 November and on 6 January, so it is 40 days long.

The official candle and new holidays in Russia last from 31 December to 10 January.

In Russian Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘ s rah-zh-dee-st-VOHM ‘ (C рождеством!) Or’s-Schah-St-Lee-vah-vah rah-ZH Dee-st-Vah ‘ (Счастливого рождества!). Merry/Merry Christmas in many more languages.

Some people fast (eat nothing) on Christmas Eve until the first star has appeared in the sky. People then eat ‘ sochivo ‘ or ‘ Kutia ‘, a porridge made of wheat or rice, served with honey, papawerseed, fruit (especially berries and dry fruits such as raisins), chopped walnuts or sometimes even vrugtejellies!

Kutia is sometimes eaten from one general bowl, it symbolizes unity. In the past, some families like to throw a spoon of sochivo on the ceiling. When it got stuck on the ceiling, some people thought this meant they would have a lot of happiness and a good harvest!

The Russian word for Christmas Eve ‘ Sochelnik ‘ comes from the word ‘ sochivo ‘.

Some Orthodox Christian Russians also don’t eat meat or fish during the milling/festive season on Christmas Eve.

Other popular Christmas evening foods include beetroot soup (borsch) or vegan potluck (Solyanka) served with individual vegetable paste (often made with cabbage, potato or mushroom); Sourcabbage, papges such as buckwheat with fried onion and fried mushrooms, salads often made from vegetables like gurkies, mushrooms or tomatoes, and also potato or other root vegetable salad. The meal often consists of 12 dishes, representing the twelve disciples of Jesus.

At the end of the meal is often served ‘ Vzvar ‘ (which means ‘ cooking ‘). It is a sweet drink made of dry fruits and honey cooked in water. Vzvar is traditionally at the birth of a child, so with the Christmas it symbolizes the birth of the baby Jesus.

After the meal there can be prayed, and people then go to the Midnight church services. They were often not the dishes before they came home from the church – sometimes not up to 04:00 or 05:00!

The most important meal on Christmas Day is more than a festival with dishes such as fried pork and goose, Pirye and Pelmeni (Meat bobbles). Dessert is often things like fruit pies, ginger breads and honey biscuits (called priceaniki) and fresh and dried fruits and more nuts.

There are Russian Christmas footwear called Kozulya which are made in the form of a sheep, goat or deer.

In Some areas, children are going to talk through the family and friends of the Family and wish people a happy new year. It is usually rewarded with cookies, sweets and money.

For people in Western Europe and the US is one of the most famous things about Christmas in Russia the story of Babushka. Babushka means grandma in Russian. It tells the story of an old woman who met the wise men on his way to see Jesus.

However, most people in Russia NEVER heard about the story, as it was probably created in 1907 by an American poet and writer named Edith Matilda Thomas! I’ve found many emails from Russian visitors on the website who have never heard the story before!

The story of Babushka

On a small Russian city, a woman named Babushka was living. Babushka always did work to make livestock, polish, dust and clean. Her home was the best manicured, the home in the whole town. Her garden was beautiful and her cooking was wonderful. One night she was busy to dust and clean, so she didn’t hear all the inhabitants talking outside on the town square and look at the new star in the air.

She heard about the new star, but thought: ‘ All this fuss on a star! I don’t even have the time to look, because I’m so behind with my job. I’ve got to work all night! ‘ So, she missed the star as it shone bright, high above. She also misses the small line with the shearing lights that come down at dawn in the direction of the town. She does not hear the sounds of the pipes and drums. She misses the voices and whispers of the inhabitants, wondering whether the lights were an army or a procession of some kind. She misses the sudden silence of the inhabitants and even the footsteps toward the door to her door. But the one thing she couldn’t miss was the hard knock on her front door!

‘ Now what is it? ‘ She wonders and opens the door. Babushka Kloof is surprised. There were three kings at her door with one of their servants! “My Masters need a place to rest,” said the Maid, “and yours is the best home in the town. ” ‘ Do you want to stay here? ‘ asks Babushka. ‘ Yes, it would only fall to the night and the star again appears. ‘ Answer the servant. Babushka Swallow. ‘ Then come in. ‘ she said.

The Kings were very happy when they saw all the home-baked bread, pies and cakes. She quickly walks around, ministering to them and asks many questions. ‘ Have you come a far? ‘ A very long road. ‘ Sigh Caspar. “Where are you going? ” ‘ We follow the new star. ‘ said Melchior. “But where? ” The Kings did not know, but they believed that it would lead to a newborn king, a king of Earth and heaven. ‘ Why don’t you come with us? ‘ asked Balthasar. ‘ You can bring him a gift like us. I bring gold, and my colleagues bring spices and perfumes. ‘ “Oh, I’m not sure he would welcome me,” says Babushka, “And what can I bring for a gift? Toys! I know I can bring a toy. I have a cupboard full of toys. “said his sadness. “My baby boy was dead when he was small. ‘ Balthasar stops her when she cleanup the kitchen. ‘ This new king can also be your king. Come with us as the star appears tonight. ‘ ‘ He says, ‘ I’ll think of it. ‘ Sighs Babushka.

While the Kings are sleeping, Babushka makes just as silent as she could. ‘ What much extra work there was! ‘ she thinks, “and this new king, who is a strange idea, to go with the Kings to find him. “

Babushka shook himself. There was no time to dream, all these were taken up and dispose of. ‘ Either way, ‘ she thought, ‘ How long would she be gone? What will she wear? What about the gift? ‘ She sighs. ‘ There is so much to do. The House will have to be cleaned if they are gone. I couldn’t just leave it. ‘ Suddenly it was communion again and the star in the sky. ‘ Are you ready, Babushka? ‘ asked Balthasar. ‘ I’ll come tomorrow, ‘ call Babushka, ‘ I first have to make it neat and find a present. ‘

The Kings left sad. Babushka ran back in her home, eager to go on with her work.

Eventually she goes to the small closet, opens the door and looks at all the toys. But they were very dusty. They were not suitable for a baby’s residence. They must all be cleaned. She cleared all the toys until everyone excels. Babushka looks through the window. It was morning! The star came and went. The Kings were able to rest somewhere else by now. She could catch them up easily, but she felt so tired. She had to sleep. The next thing she knew, she woke up and it was dark outside. She slept all day! She quickly pulls up her mantle, packs the toy in a basket and runs on the path that the Kings have tackled.

Everywhere she asks: “Did you see the Kings? ” ‘ Oh yes, ‘ everyone told her, ‘ we saw them. They went so. ‘ Babushka followed the trail of the Kings for a day and the towns became bigger and villages. But Babushka never stopped. Then she came into a city. ‘ The palace, ‘ she thought. ‘ This is where the royal baby would be born. ‘ ‘ No, here’s no royal baby, ‘ said the palace was waiting when she asked him. ‘ What about three kings? ‘ asks Babushka. ‘ Oh yes, they came here, but they didn’t stay long. They were traveling soon. ‘ ‘ But where? ‘ asks Babushka. ‘ Bethlehem, this was the place. I can’t imagine why. This is a very poor place. But that’s where they went. ‘ Answer the wait. She is on his way to Bethlehem. It was the evening when Babushka arrived in Bethlehem and she had long been traveling. She goes to the local inn and calls for the Kings. “Oh yes, ” said the landlord, “The Kings were here two days ago. They were very excited, but they didn’t even know the night. “‘ And what about a baby? ‘ Babushka wept. ‘ Yes, there was. ‘ Says the landlord. ‘ The Kings also asked about a baby. ‘ When he saw the disappointment in Babushka’s eyes, he stopped. ‘ If you want to see where the baby is, ‘ he says quickly, ‘ it was across the garden there. I couldn’t offer the couple anything better at the time. My Inn was really full, so they had to go in the stall. “She goes to the local inn and asks the Kings. “Oh yes, ” said the landlord, “The Kings were here two days ago. They were very excited, but they didn’t even know the night. “‘ And what about a baby? ‘ Babushka wept. ‘ Yes, there was. ‘ Says the landlord. ‘ The Kings also asked about a baby. ‘ When he saw the disappointment in Babushka’s eyes, he stopped. ‘ If you want to see where the baby was, ‘ he says quickly, ‘ it was across the garden there. I couldn’t offer the couple anything better at the time. My Inn was really full, so they had to go in the stall. “She goes to the local inn and asks the Kings. “Oh yes, ” said the landlord, “The Kings were here two days ago. They were very excited, but they didn’t even know the night. “‘ And what about a baby? ‘ Babushka wept. ‘ Yes, there was. ‘ Says the landlord. ‘ The Kings also asked about a baby. ‘ When he saw the disappointment in Babushka’s eyes, he stopped. ‘ If you want to see where the baby is, ‘ he says quickly, ‘ it was across the garden there. I couldn’t offer the couple anything better at the time. My Inn was really full, so they had to go in the stall. “Babushka wept. ‘ Yes, there was. ‘ Says the landlord. ‘ The Kings also asked about a baby. ‘ When he saw the disappointment in Babushka’s eyes, he stopped. ‘ If you want to see where the baby is, ‘ he says quickly, ‘ it was across the garden there. I couldn’t offer the couple anything better at the time. My Inn was really full, so they had to go in the stall. “Babushka wept. ‘ Yes, there was. ‘ Says the landlord. ‘ The Kings also asked about a baby. ‘ When he saw the disappointment in Babushka’s eyes, he stopped. ‘ If you want to see where the baby is, ‘ he says quickly, ‘ it was across the garden there. I couldn’t offer the couple anything better at the time. My Inn was really full, so they had to go in the stall. ”

Babushka followed him over the site. ‘ Here’s the stall. ‘ he said. He left her in the stall. “Babushka? ” Someone phoned her from the door. He looked at her. She wondered if he knew where the family had gone. She now knows that the baby’s residence was the most important thing in the world. ‘ They went to Egypt, and safety, ‘ he told Babushka. ‘ The Kings returned to their lands. But one of them told me about you. I’m sorry, but you’re too late. It was Jesus who found them, the Savior of the world.

Babushka was very sad that she had missed Jesus and it was said that Babushka was still looking for him.

Why the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on Jan 7?

Many Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on or near 7 January to remember the birth of Jesus Christ described in the Christian Bible. This date works according to the Julian calendar which dates in advance the Gregorian calendar, which is regularly observed.

What Do People Do?

Orthodox Christians in Central and eastern Europe and other world parts celebrate Christmas on 7 January. The Christmas dates around 7 January can differ between some churches. The day is a time of reflection, inner thoughts and healing in many Eastern European countries. Many Orthodox Christians cling to 7 January, usually meat and dairy products excluded. Food may include the following:

  • Spring bread.
  • Nuts and fresh dried fruit.
  • Vegetables and herbs such as potatoes, peas and garlic.
  • Mushroom soup.
  • Slow boiled kidney beans with potatoes, garlic and flavorings.
  • Bobal’ki (small biscuits combined with sourcabbage or papawerseed with honey).
  • Honey.
  • Baked Cod.

Christmas Day is, by contrast, a day to visit and enjoy friends and family members. The Christmas meal usually contains meat and different types of pastries. One traditional Russian candle dish is baked goose with apples.

The type of food and activities can depend on the country’s culture and traditions. In some Orthodox Christian cultures, people in stud are walking to seas, rivers and lakes as part of the liturgy on the Orthodox Christmas Day. They make holes in the ice to bless the water if it is frozen. Few gifts are donated to the exchange of gifts and the commercialised Christmas.

Some Orthodox Christians take the birth and worship of the pastors (those who visited baby Jesus) on 6 January, followed by the worship of the Magi (three Wise Men or Kings) on 7 January. Church lituries on Orthodox Christmas evening (6 January) are perhaps longer than usual, but many people find them inspiring.

Public Life

Christmas Day is on 7 January a public holiday in countries such as Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia and Ukraine. Some countries, such as Armenia, hold Christmas Day on 6 January. Celebrating Christmas Day on 7 January is not a nationwide public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States.


Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who, according to many Christians, is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. The Gospel of St Matthew in the Bible claims that he was born during the reign of Herod the Great. Herod, who was a king of Judea, was killed in 4 B.C. Many Christians celebrate Jesus ‘ birthday on 25 December, but there are some who hold tradition by considering the date on 7 January.

Christmas on 7 January is also known as Old Christmas Day. Eleven days were dropped to reimburse the calendar difference that accumulated with the Julian calendar when England and Scotland switched to the Julian in 1752 from the Monday to the Gregorian calendar. Many people, especially in rural areas, do not accept the loss of these 11 days and prefer to use the Julian calendar.

Many Orthodox churches recognize the holiday dates according to the Julian calendar. Christmas is still on 25 December in the Julian calendar, so the 7 January date is only valid between 1901 and 2100. The Gregorian date for Orthodox Christmas is 8 January in 2101 when the Julian calendar is still in use.

The Julian calendar was revised in 1923, and this version corresponds more with the Gregorian calendar. A few Orthodox churches follow the revised Julian calendar, but most Orthodox churches follow the more traditional Julian calendar, which has the original dates for Christian observations before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar.


Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Russia, sailors and children, is the kind, good and giving spirit of Christmas. In Some countries white cloth is used on dining tables to symbolise the purity and the canvas in which Jesus Christ is wrapped. It can be placed on these tables to symbolise the simplicity of the place where Jesus was born. Candles can be lit to represent the light of Christ, and the festive Christmas meal is the end of the fast.

Who celebrates Orthodox Christmas?

Although Christmas has made us an end, the holiday only starts for Orthodox Christian countries celebrating Christmas today.

From Russia to Israel, there is in fact a number of countries that are celebrating Jesus ‘ birth in January instead of December. Let’s look at the reason why…

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January-What is today!

The celebrations in Orthodox countries started on ‘ Christmas Eve ‘ at midnight, with which we were referred to on 6 January 2019.

The reason why these dates are so different from what we know, since Christmas is a difference in calendars.

In the West, we are using the Catholic Gregorian calendar that was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582.

Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, Italy, the Catholic low lands and Luxembourg were the first countries that adopted it.

But in many of the Soviet block and the Middle East, they still use the Julian calendar-created in 45B.C. by Julius Caesar.

This means that there is a gap of 13 days between the two calendars, and so Christmas Day falls in those countries on the 7 January.

These nowadays follow most orthodox countries the Gregorian calendar, but still keeps a number of religious holidays on the Julian dates.

The Orthodox Epifanie is for example on 19 January-in lieu of 6 January.

 It's all because they still follow the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind our Gregorian one

Which countries celebrate Christmas on January 7?

Right now, more than a third (39 percent) of the world’s Christians in Russia – with approximately 85 percent of those who prefer to celebrate Christmas in January.

Some orthodox countries-including Greece, Cyprus and Romania-have adopted a revised Julian calendar in 1923 and celebrate it now on 25 December with us.

Those who celebrate in January are Orthodox Christians in Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Egypt and Bulgaria.

Serbia, Belarus, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Georgia and Moldova also stick to the traditional Orthodox date, meaning they are also celebrating today.

Are there any other dates for Christmas Day?

Only the one-the Bmost-Apostolic Church celebrates on 6 January.

Countries like Armenia and Lebanon were outside the Roman Empire, meaning they were never influenced by the Julian or the Gregorian calendar.

Like us, the Apostolic Church also celebrates Epifanie on 6 January.

What is Santa called in Russia?

Like all countries in Eastern Europe, Russia has its own version of Santa Claus related to the country’s Christmas and Nuwejaarsdagtradisies. He differs slightly from the jovial, roving stomach, red-colored gentleman that appeared in Hollywood films and on Christmas tickets in the US. The Russian Santa is known as Ded Moroz, which is translated into ‘ grandfather Frost ‘, but most English speakers call him “Father Frost.”

While Ded Moroz is the local equivalent of Santa Claus, he is unmistakable Russian in appearance and attitude, and usually occurs in a long coat in red, icy blue, silver or gold-arrayed or trimmed with white fur.

Ded Moroz, lack of shell of Western Christmas, has a rounded Russian cap with a spacious fur, and sometimes its clothes are richly decorated with embroidery. Ded Moroz wears a rod and carries a long, white beard and protects its feet against the cold by traditional viltboots, Valenki, which is popular in Russia, or to wear leather boots. Ded Moroz, usually displayed as a long and sleek older man, cut an elegant figure on Christmas tickets and wish the recipient a happy New year.

Ded Moroz Traditions

Since the three horses of the Russian troika-Slea have enough power and speed to get Ded Moroz to which he must go, he does not have to have eight raceanimals.

Ded Moroz delivers gifts on New Year’s Eve rather than on Christmas Eve as a result of shifting this tradition to the more secular holiday during the Soviet time. The holiday tree is casually for the new Year rather than Christmas, although it might seem early enough to mark both opportunities, especially because of the fact that Russia’s Christmas is celebrated after the first of the year, according to the Orthodox Church’s calendar.

Snegurochka, the SnowMaiden-a figure out of Russian fairy tales-go regularly with Ded Moroz. In The legend she is his granddaughter and it is typically portrayed as blonde, rosy and smiling, but this figure also draws the winter’s colours of the season to assist Father Frost in his efforts to share gifts.

Where to See Ded Moroz in Russia

Instead of the North Pole, the Russian Santa is living on an estate in the city of Veliky Ustyug in the Vologda Oblast, and children can send letters to Ded Moroz in the city in the hope that their holiday accommodation is granted. Those who visit Veliky Ustyug can leave their picture with Ded Moroz, enjoy in a cluster row and winter activities.

During the holiday period, Ded Moroz appeared in major Russian cities like Moscow, and he regularly participates in festivals and parades. If you plan to visit this Christmas season in Russia, first check where the fun character is going to appear. Prepare your children before you travel for a slightly another version of Santa.

What is the main Christmas meal in Greece?

On Christmas Eve, children, especially boys, often sing ‘ Kalanda ‘ in the streets. They play drums and triangles while singing. Sometimes they also wear modelleboats decorated with nuts painted gold. The transport of a boat is a very old habit on the Greek islands.

If the children sing well, they may get money, as well as eating utensils such as nuts, sweets and dried figs.

An old and very traditional decoration is a shallow wood comes with a piece of thread hanging at the edge. A twig basil wrapped up a wooden cross and hangs on the wire. Some water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh. Once a day, someone is immerse, mostly the mother of the family, the Cross and basil in holy water and use it to scatter water in every room of the house.

It is suspected that the ‘ Kallikantzaroi ‘ Καλλικάντζαρος (bad spirits) stay away. The Kallikantzaroi is intended to appear only during the 12-day period from Christmas to Epifanie (6 January). They’re supposed to get off the middle of the earth and get through the chimney in People’s house! The Kallikantzaroi does things like quenching fires and putting milk down. Keeping a fire in the twelve Days of Christmas is also meant to keep the kallikantzaroi away (to burn old shoes is a very good way to scare the Kallikantzaroi).

Every December, on the Aristotelous Square in the city of Thessaloniki (which is the Colargest City of Greece), a large Christmas tree and three canvas ships are built. It is a popular tourist attraction. There are also huge bootdisplays in other large Greek cities like Athens. Decorated ships are an old tradition in Greece where small ships were installed in homes when sailors returned from the soreness.

Christmas trees are popular in Greece. The first famous Christmas tree in Greece was in 1833 and was erected by King Otto next to a large decorated boat. Over time, especially in the late 20th century, decorated Christmas trees have become more than decorating a boat. But now a boat as well as a tree becomes increasingly popular!

Going to a midnight mass service is very important to most Greeks. After the service, people can go home and quickly close their coming.

The main Christmas meal is often lax or pork, roasted in an oven or over an open dig. It is regularly served with a spinach and caaspastei and different salads and vegetables. Other candle-and Nuwejaarskosse contain ‘ Baklava ‘ (a sweet pastries made of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey), Kataifi (a pastries made of a special form of lubricrafted filo dough and flavored with nuts and cinnamon), Theeples (a type of baked pastries). The pastries are either eaten for breakfast or an starter. Another popular Christmas dessert is melomakarono, egg or oblong pastry/cakes made from flour, olive oil and honey and rolled in chopped walnuts.

A traditional table decoration is bread ‘ christsummary ‘ (Chrisbread or Christmas feast). It is a round sweet bread, flavored with cinnamon, orange and cloves. The top is decorated with a cross. The bread is made ready on Christmas Eve to be eaten on Christmas Day.

In Greece, gifts are regularly brought to children on 1 January by Aghios Vassilis/Άγιος Βασίλης (St-Basil/Saint-Vasilis), because it is the St-base day.

On New Year’s Eve, many families hold a great meal and play games. By midnight there are many hugs, kisses and best wishes for the new year. Nuwejaars Kalanda songs/carols can also be sung. On New Years on many places in Greece, there is the tradition of Bounamathes (Bouna-MA theses). Adults in the family give money and gifts to children wish them a happy new year.

Another major event in many homes on New Years is the Pothariko (Pothari-KO). It is a tradition that says that a child who is ‘ happiness ‘ or a firstborn of a family or sometimes is the man of the House, the first person should be who enters a house that year – and they must do it right foot. The Greeks believe it will bring happiness to the household all year. In Some areas of Greece, the person holds a pomegranate and breaks it at the front door before he enters the house. The seeds are spread, which symbolise the happiness and the Happiness for the house – and the more pomegranate seeds, the better!

There is also a special St base Day-cake called ‘ Vasilopita ‘ (Vasi-LO-Pita). The cake has a coin in it. In some parts of Greece, the cake is sweet, but in others it is more like a loaf of bread. Who finds the coin in their paste is thought to be happy for the year.

In Some families the father of the house is cut off the Vasilopita and he gives the pieces out. Traditionally, the first paste for Jesus, the second is for Maria, the third for the poor people and the fourth for the household. Depending on their age, the rest of the slices goes to the family members/household, with the oldest person first.

People in Greece also celebrate Epifanie on 6 January. In The Greek Orthodox Church four Epifanie was the baptism of Jesus when he was a man. It is also known as ‘ The Blessing of The Waters ‘. There are many events in the country where young men dive into cold lakes, rivers and seas to try first to get a cross that was blessed by a priest and thrown into the water. Whoever gets the cross first is meant to have much happiness during the coming year. Epifanie festivals also contain blessings of boats and ships, music, dance and lots of food.

Is Christmas a pagan holiday?

It is an error to say that our modern Christmas traditions are directly from pre-Christian paganism, Ronald Hutton, an historian at the Bristol University in the United Kingdom, said. However, he said, you will be equally mistaken to believe that Christmas is a modern phenomenon. While Christians spread their religion in the first centuries A.D. to Europe, they met people who live according to a variety of local and regional religious creed.

Christian missionaries have merged all of these people under the umbrella term “heathen “, says Philip Shaw, who explores early Germanic languages and Old English at the Leicester University in the United Kingdom. The term relates to the Latin word that “veld ” means, “said Shaw to LiveScience. The linguistic link is sensible, he said, because the early European Christianity was an urban phenomenon, while the paganism persists in rustic areas.

Early Christians wanted to convert Gentiles, said Shaw, but they were also fascinated by their traditions.

‘ Christians of that period are very interested in paganism ‘, he said. ‘ This is of course something they think is a bad thing, but it’s also something that they think is worth remembering. That’s what their ancestors did. ‘ [In Pictures: Early Christian Rome]

Maybe that is why the pagan traditions remained even when Christianity got caught. The Christmas tree is a German invention from the 17th century, the Hutton University of Bristol said to LiveScience, but it is evident from the pagan practice of decorating a green. The modern Santa Claus is a direct descendant of the English Father Christmas, which was not originally a gift giver. Father Christmas and his other European variations, however, are modern incarnations of old pagan ideas about spirits that traveled in the midst of the sky said Hutton.