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Macedonians celebrate Orthodox Christmas January 6, 2011

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia.
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Today the Orthodox Christian believers in Macedonia are celebrating Badnik – the day that announces the Birth of Jesus Christ – Christmas.  Badnik has been traditionally celebrated Thursday in front of the “St. Clement of Ohrid” church in Skopje.

The event commenced by hoisting Badnik flag, while the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC), the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan, handed over the last year’s Badnik Cup to this year Badnik godfather Zivko Mukaetov, the general manager of Alkaloid company.

Christmas is God’s birthday – the day of reconciliation and joy of the heaven and earth, the joy still present today and one that will last for ever,  HH Stefan said in his address to gathered believers.

“God has come down to earth for the sake of all nations, thus the God’s joy is intended for everybody. Let’s pray again today for each of our homes, families, newborns, those who learn, the seek, powerless, those who suffer, the sad ones, the workers, those who do good deeds, have good thought, will and for all God and human loving hearts and souls. There is no grater joy than to be the God’s host. Happy, everlasting these and all other holidays in the new year,” HH Stefan said.

It is an honor to be the 2011 Badnik Godfather, Mukaetov said, pointing out that his company would continue to be one of the pillars of Macedonia’s economy.

Actor Vladimir Angelovski – Dadi called on gathered citizens to celebrate Christmas with joy, songs and gifts – to give food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, hope to the seek, comfort to the unhappy. That is the meaning of this holiday, he said.

Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanov also extended his Christmas greetings, wishing good health, happiness and success to all citizens.

Early in the morning of January 6, children go from a home to a home in their neighbourhood, knocking at the doors and singing Kolede songs. The home-owners give the children candies, sweets, fruit and coins.

A family dinner on Badnik is the only holiday when you can find rich and poor gathered on one place. In the evening on Badnik, the closest family is gathering around the Badnik dinner.

The main event at this dinner is cutting of the Christmas bread in pieces for each member of the family, one for the home and one for Jesus Christ. Inside the Christmas Bread there is a coin. There is a belief that who ever finds the coin in his/her piece of the bread will have luck the whole year.

The house is decorated with oak branches with their leaves on, representing the wish of the family for long and healthy life.

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