21 and 22 December — the shortest day of the year. From 21 to 22 December — the longest night. December 22, 2011 at 09 hours 30 minutes Moscow time as the sun go down to the southern hemisphere of the sky, that is moving along the ecliptic, reaches its lowest declination — 23 degrees 26.457 minutes (Sagittarius) and then comes the astronomical winter. 21 and 22 December — the shortest day of the year. From 21 to 22 December — the longest night. Longitude of the day at the latitude of Moscow reaches only 6 hours 56 minutes. At this time, the inhabitants of the central and northern areas of Russia have the longest time to use artificial light, almost around the clock.
But it favors nocturnal observations, when the night is longer than most, and the sky is black over half a day. This is the most favorable time for observing various celestial objects the night sky, but the winter weather and frequent inclement weather (in central Russia) did not allow a meaningful observation.
During the winter solstice, the sun above 66.50 latitude do not rise, and the night lasts all day. Only twilight in these latitudes suggests that the sun below the horizon somewhere in the middle segment of the twilight. At the north pole of the Earth is not visible, not only the Sun but also of twilight, so the direction of the sun can be found only on the constellations. From the North Pole, it will be seen below in the direction of the constellation Hercules. December 21 the sun crosses the meridian of 18-hour and goes up along the ecliptic from the path to the spring equinox, when it crosses the celestial equator. During the winter solstice, the Earth as a result of tilt on its axis to the plane of the ecliptic at 230 26.457 'faces the Sun South Pole. At the North Pole, as has been said, at this time is the polar night. At the South Pole and polar regions — the polar day, as you can see, rising above the pole of the Earth, and looking at the Earth from space.
Ancient people celebrated this celestial event and prayed the forces of nature to lengthen and shorten the day night. When that day comes, people bonfires and candles, calling the sunlight back.
Holidays were called Yule, Karachun (the Slavs), Day of Snakes Annwn — a time of great darkness, and the shortest day of the year.
Etymology Karachun (korochun) in Slavic mythology — the name of the winter solstice and the associated festival (drevnerus. korochun, Slovak. Kraeun, «Christmas", Bulg. Krachunets, "Christmas Day"), and an evil spirit (belorus. korochun, "sudden death at a young age, seizures, an evil spirit, which reduces life," Rus. — Karachun, "death", "death", "evil spirit") suggests the idea of a connection between light and darkness, life changes, upgrades, maintenance of old and obsolete. In this regard, it is useful to ask the gods for cleansing from past mistakes and make a wish, that is to program your future.
Yule — the remainder of the early rituals celebrated to hurry winter and encourage the spring, when food again becomes accessible. As a reminder of the cycle of rebirth. Day of the winter solstice — Alban Artuan's Celtic Christmas Carols — in Slavonic, Yule — in German. Russian name of the holiday was off base kolo — "circle", "wheel", the German — from its sister hjul — "the wheel." Important tradition of winter holiday — candles, firecrackers, sparklers. In contrast to the summer celebrations around the fire in the open air of the winter solstice fires are burning mostly in homes. Typically, this big bright spark (eg red). Generally, the fire probably symbolizes rebirth of the sun, turning to spring, protection from evil. Among the traditions and the ignition was a big candle that was burning in the morning to midnight (if it goes bust before it was thought that this is a bad sign).
And what could be more joyful than the fire in the hearth on a dark and cold winter night … Frazer in "The Golden Bough" describes the European tradition of the Yule logs (usually oak, but it was out of the ash, and beech), which is cutting out and making it to the house was made with great respect, it burned in the hearth of the head of the family, and it slowly burns. Sometimes the fire poured some brandy or wine, throwing bread crumbs and corn, coins. Then he gave the children such coins for luck (D. and C. Kopf). Ashes and firebrand of the logs kept and after the next holiday, when a new piece of wood burns, the ashes of the old logs scattered on the field for 12 days to ensure the harvest. In Germany, the charred log kept in the event of a thunderstorm put back into the center — it was thought that the house is lit in the hearth of the Christmas log, not struck by lightning. (You may find that this is due to the fact that the oak — tree god of lightning). It was also believed that the head of such logs protects the house from lightning and evil (and also of witches , can treat the disease in humans and livestock, provide crop. In England, where the custom is also the Yule log, it was thought that a new piece of wood to light the remnants of the old smut. This custom has been preserved in some places in Eastern Europe (the Serbs, Albanians).
Also funny that the Yule log is still present on the festive table — in the form decorated with flowers and leaves chocolate rolls (recipe below) *. If you want to present the same piece of wood: by Pauline Campanelli, "In order to make such a piece of wood, Retrieve the usual log with bark. Then it is necessary to split the log in half, so that it may be on the flat side, or a little to square it to one side just enough to give it stability. Making sure that it is firmly and drill in the upper part of two or three holes of 2 cm for the candles. "Decorate it with candles, mistletoe, lighting candles can sing something like:
"Let them burn the Yule log.
Let the good will here.
Let it be wheat for xleba,
A barrel full of wine. "
By the way, some people believe that decorating a Christmas tree with candles — in fact, again replacing the Yule log, Yule tree decorated with lights (which should burn after the holidays). According to another point of view spruce — lunar, feminine symbol, the oak — a symbol of the male and solar, they are not interchangeable.
Circle Day — the day when you can see the range of incarnations of the returning god. Winter Solstice — the main annual holiday — it has to do with the Eternity as the moment of death and the birth of the Sun last year's New Year's. The traditional date of the holiday — the night of 25 December, when in many pre-Christian cults commits the ceremonies. In Rome this holiday Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun), the Scandinavians — Great Yule, Slavs — Solnovorot (Solstice), Kolovrat. In ritual events of the important symbols of the holiday treatment wheels — Kolovrat, carols etc.
KOLYADA — Slavic holiday winter solstice and the deity of the same name. Winter solstice falls on December 22. A festival celebrating Christmas Carols from December 22 to January 6 — Velez day. The holiday is also called Christmas Carols Dazhdbozhy day or Karachun.
Carol of the Slavs marks New Year cycle. On the day of the winter solstice in the house bringing in sheaves, and dolls and sing carols, being home to the wishes and requests for gifts — Caravan and tarts, promising a mean poverty. Kolyada dress bear a horse, a goat, a cow — an ancient symbol of abundance.
Nascent Sun appears as a child. Baby — it is a disk of the sun, anciently called Kolo. Baby Kalyada Winter Witch captures and converts it into a wolf. When taken off the Christmas Carols Wolfskin and burn her at the spring heat, Kolyada appear in all its glory. And the sun on a cart sent south to meet spring.
While people singing carols, and pop under your feet from the cold snow, witches and evil spirits rage, stealing stars from the sky and the moon. Everywhere are wondering on marriage, the yield on the breed. And for the conspiracy and matchmaking followed the wedding.
KOLYADA (Koleda) — in ancient pagan mythology, the embodiment of change of the annual cycle, the winter solstice, the sun transition from winter to summer, the inevitability of the victory of good over evil spirits deities.
"Once Kalyada perceived not as a mummer. Carol was a god, and one of the most influential. Kalyada clicked, invited. Kolyada Year days dedicated in her honor were held games, then commit to Christmastime. Last patriarchal ban on worship Kolyada was issued December 24, 1684. It is believed that the Slavs Kolyada recognized for god fun, because of that, and called it, clicked on New Year festivities merry gang of young people. " (A. Swift, "National Calendar").
Celebration of Christmas Carols occurred in December and January (with it "coincided" Christmas) to 6/19 January ("coincidence" of baptism). At this time, experienced the extreme cold, according to ancient beliefs coincide with the rampant evil spirits and evil witches. Celebration of Christmas Carols and his cheerful optimism expressed the faith of our ancestors, Russian pagans in the inevitability of the victory of good over the forces of evil began. To help win Kolyada and ward off evil spirits, to celebrate the feast day lit bonfires, singing and dancing around them.
With the coming of Christianity to Russia optimistic and life-affirming celebration Carols "coincided" with the celebration of Christmas, and ritual pagan customs became a fun game for Christmas time. Still these days lit bonfires, and boys and girls "dressed in hari (mask)" horses, goats, cows, bears and other animals, and went from house to house, singing carols — songs glorifying carols, bringing all the benefits.
KOLYADA — one of the greatest Svyatodney Kologoda dedicated to the winter solstice, the day of birth of a new sun and a new year. On this day they do the ritual updates — Revival Fire and burn all night on the tops of hills sacred bonfires, "helping" the newborn sun. Taco is fed kutey (memorial bleed off) Frost, singing carols, sing Christmas carols and songs, etc. Usually celebrated when the Sun "on the rabbit foot" goes beyond the point of solstice.
At the time of dual faith in Russia 25 stuzhenya / December is the Christmas , and the very celebration begins another 24 stuzhenya / December — the night before Christmas. The people said: "At Christmas play and the Sun", "winter in cold, man — for the holidays." Notice it: "If the day deep snow, herbs and bread will be high," "If this day warm, spring will be cold," "If the blizzard night, the bees swarm good will," "Night stars thick — thick and berries will ".
 Since the historical date of Jesus' birth is not known, the Christians conjunction with the winter solstice — the birthday of the Sun, is celebrated by all the Gentiles. In the first centuries of Christianity, Christmas is celebrated together with Baptism and the Epiphany, and only in the IV. These holidays split a 2-week interval.
1. Carol: Understanding Kolyada — greatest Rodnoverchesky Svyatoden Kologoda because on this day is born the new sun, and begins to gain momentum a new annual Kolo. The word "Kolyada" comes from the word "colony", meaning circle the Sun, and the circle at all. Kolo — a sign not of the Earth and the Sky, a figurative expression of the Divine Perfection. Recheno wise: "Where are the people in the colonies stand, Gods give them strength."
2. Carol: Community Events. Be alone is enormous  in the night-time side of the forest, in a wooden hut, rituals spravno create, Native Gods by native Russian praise, in Rattle knock — New Year's meet!
3. Preparation of the site. Still light: the wood of the great fire — in the courtyard, and tacos for a small — in the hearth. Decorating house (the first thing — Red kut ): skins, spruce fir twigs, bells, grain, straw, towels. On a separate linen dress — Cheer  Christmas Carols (ocher). Kutya. Wax candles — to light the darkest time of the year and for divination (to pour the melted wax into water). Tablecloths. Torches. Shelepugi (Cloth "goyim", stuffed with rags or straw). Axes. Mittens — so as not to take Badnyak bare hands.
4. Zhdanko. Sprinkle on the table grain Kolovrat, over — the tablecloth. On cloth — a sumptuous feast. At the begining — thank native gods! Magician (or elder, or master of the house) is hiding behind the mountain, asks the audience: — sees it me detushki? — Not visible, sir! — Meet him. And thus three times. Then the magician saith: So let the gods, so that the next year is not mature! All bow. Rekutsya pischesvyatiya words. Start light meal, the mountains are not dispersing. Waiting for the last guest (Polaznika). Knowledgeable people rekut koschuny of carols.
5. The sunset. At sunset — special little guard guards. Guards — all has been filed. The people out on the street to see off the old Sun. When the sun disappeared, all listened to the voices of the forest, waiting for a sign. Hear the cries of the thicket undead. That okrutniki  to the honest people fear catching. Magi rekut word about time Chernobog da Morena. All in silence in a hurry to the house. Some of okrutnikov howling in the woods.
6. Polaznika meeting. While the storm rages outside the windows and the undead, trying unsuccessfully to break into the house, the people in the house puts out all the candles, except one, and knowledgeable people in the water dripping wax, wondering about the next year. Suddenly there is a knock at the door and includes a Polaznik vyvorochennoy fur outside coat, a hat volohatoy so in the guise of a bearded. All of his clothing in the snow, instead of Staff — baking tongs with cattle bells. Women sweep the spruce fir twigs in front of him the floor.
The host asked him: Who art thou didst, dear guests? Guest silent. The host asks him vdrugoryad, and then a third time, giving the sign of the guest hostess bring a dish with pie so intoxicating glass of vodka drinking. After tasting treats human, Guest responds: I'm old-Rod of old, my father — Bull, my mother — Cow! — How are you are you going? — I walked, walked out of the far side, because of the high mountains. I walked through the empty fields but through dense forests. Went on a 12-stone, in the 12 bridges. As the last-the bridge beneath me break, my beard dunk! — What are you talking about? — Yes corn iron. Corn in the ground throw and iron — an ax hammer, tree cut down, the bridge of the bridge, the three brothers to go! — Who are the brothers? — First Brother — Red Sun, the second brother — clear month, a third brother — fractional little rain! (Or: three brothers — three of Fire !) These words Polaznik bless the house and all those present. People in response to bow to him. Then: Ancestors glory — circular Chara! Polaznik bell closes, the owner of the mountain disperses, honest Bratchina conceived.
7. Badnyak. After bratchiny Polaznik fellows called out to follow Badnyakom (dead tree standing in the forest, some pre-decorated with colorful ribbons.) The owner is in the house, addressing going. When he reached the place, the people bowed Badnyaku, praise him and render all respects. Then two young men stand next to the ax and start chopping Badnyak. Rekut: "Our Badnyache our Badnyache! Wake us fun! "
Felled Badnyak with songs have to hut (touching it only through towels or mittens, but not with his bare hands), where chop it into two unequal parts: large and small. Largely left to the street, and a small swaddled like a baby, and bring into the house. Then all go out into the yard, where they feed kutey Claus — spoon over his shoulder. Throw up a spoon so that the next year flax grown high. Create hlebochestie ("And this song — the bread sing, eat bread — bread honor salute! Old people on uslyshane, young at poteshane! All good people for good!") Conjure start talking-house and yard all impurities, unkind. Priests, with slander, kindles a great fire. Bring Badnyak (large), to whom "opens the mouth", "feed", "watered" with glory so burnt. Sorcerer asks whether our Veselyak Badnyak? — Veselyak, father veselyak! — Should be the answer. And so up to 3 times. (Later, the same make and low Badnyakom, putting it in the hearth at home). Priests beat the burning Badnyaku staffs, striking sparks from it — for good luck. All jump through flaming Badnyak, rekut: "After the fire jumped, another (Pekelnogo) is not afraid of you!" Lead dances around the fire, singing songs and having fun.
8. Okrut. In the midst of a forest of fun entertainers appear in hari (animal masks and the undead) okrutniki. With animal cries burst into the courtyard, beating all shelepugami, rekut: "I did not beat, beats luck!" Or: "severity surovitsa — goditsa gay!" Or: "Be strong as oak! / Be graceful, like birch! "Grappled with each other, slowly being drawn into a fight everybody. Okruchivaet people, wearing masks, clothing and turns betrayed outrages. Okrutniki burning dance (stand in a colony, and put his arm around her shoulders, spinning: a step to the right, two steps to the left, lifting your knees as high as possible to the corn grown in the coming year high).
9. Kudesy. Costumed sent with a torchlight procession through the streets. Singing carols. Kudesy, play tricks, play fun skomoroshiny (eg "lead goat"), noisy, rattling, singing voice alteration. Magi, meanwhile, go into the woods, where until dawn bonfires and make special little spiritual zeal.
10. Meeting dawn. Before dawn, all fold Okrut, remove masks and throw them into the fire. Wash with snow, say goodbye to the old scenes from his life. Fire burn priests Kolovrat, praise the New Sun. The native gods glory sing, call the good people honest.
11. Especially for okrutnikov. Dial advance small squad, the composition way to keep in strict confidence. Shortly after the start of leave quietly without causing anybody suspicious, so do their unruly action. Discharge the same point: kobnichestvo, spoken by "animal languages", all but the noise, the movement on all fours, arranging all sorts of traps, the phenomenon of animal tracks on the porch and in the yard, wearing tails, horns, etc. Before leaving the shelepugami — special okrutny ritual transformation into "other." With each beat shelepugoy — hex benefit. Advance to prepare all sorts of games with a pronounced "goynostyu" up to obscene (such as playing "Umruna" etc.). Just before dawn — a mandatory rite Okrut removal and cleansing fire …
12. Featured on ceremonial words of Kalyada
1. A steep high mountain fires are burning ardent, ebullient Simmer boilers. In those boilers ebullient unquenchable fire burns just in the stomach in high places. Old men stand around the old, old men Rekut prophetic word about the stomach, about death, about the whole race of human, old promise elders whole world bellies long as to whether that evil death Lay Elders old great undead spell dissipated the fear, honest people in good health, a native to the glory of the gods! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
2. Attacked as newly-fallen snow Snow Belenky. Both for this powder geese flew — Kolyadovschichki, Nedorostochki, red girl — walking, looking for the Tsar's court.  A Sovereign yard Neither close nor far away, on seven pillars. A fence around the steeple, the fence around all of the silk grass, every blade of grass on the pearls. And for those fence at Red Mountain gold-domed towers are three: first teremu — bright Moon, the second teremu — Red Sun, in the third teremu — PART stars. Bright months — owner of the house, the Red Sun — So Hostess , often stars — Mali detushki. Both the owner of the house no-ti, ti-no home, not going to happen. He left court judge Right, Right Court judge Yes ranks to dress. Dishes, order, he goes home, his wife, he is lucky Kunyu coat, Kunyu hat, and his sons, then — with good horse, and his daughter — By Zlata crown, his sluzhnikam — By sapozhenkam! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
3. Our something Kolyada  Neither small nor large, it will not go in the door, she knocks on the window: Do not break, bend the pie Give! Vinogradov red-green! Vinogradov red-green! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
4. Oh, Uncle wishers, served on Golden pass! Betray — not betray, We will wait at the gate to stand! Head of gold, silk beard, You Reach For prazdnichka pie! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
5. And grant me, Svarog, the one who in this house! He dense rye, rye uzhinista! Him with ears — osmina, Him with grain — a loaf, with poluzerna — pie! Put it on, Svarog, and the stay, and being, and wealth full house! And waking him all the more better than Prettier so good! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
6. Carol! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
Come here a minute you! Bring beer and nectar, we will go on a small bridge in pozvontsy knock — Ovsenya meet! Ovsen riding on a pig By itself Kolyada!
7. Day and Solstice! Whip the garden, from the garden — the red eel, Podymis on our farmstead! Overclocking, Fire (or: Svarog) Potem, return to Russia red day!
Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
8. Ah, you, Marushka, Mother Winter! What dosaduesh, be angry at that? Chud Ferruginous the porch to chase, harass abdomen, Hood day complete! Come, Jack Frost, birds and animals, land and water torture! Rimmed white handkerchief, Go up to the threshold, dine our bread and salt! We worship you, Marushka, Mother Winter! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
9. Frost Red Noc, these are the bread and oats, and to us not go there, and the court house not the studio, do not ruin the corn, accept treats! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
10. Father Frost Walk to us kutyu esti! Here, you have fun today, and the spring is gone — We pugom drive! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
11. Badnyache-veselyache! We give you a beer but bread, And You give us that x for the whole year — all happiness, beauty but health! Happily you burn so fun — with good focus in our go! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
12. Goy, Kolyada! Goy, Kolyada! Bozic was born, the Holy One has come! Goy, Kolyada! Glory!
1] community — community.
 Red Corner, the home shrine.
 inscribed the sign.
 Okrut — obryazhenie ritual in various guises, transformation.
 Three Brothers-Fire: Dazhdbog Trisvetly — Sun Red, Sky Fire, Perun Gromovity — Thrower fiery arrows of lightning, connecting heaven and earth Svarozhich Fire — Fire Earth.
 Perhaps here the "Tsar's court" — a Heavenly Abode Father Svarog. While in some other versions of this koschuny — "Emperor" ("The Prince", "boss" …) has all the features of Veles, and "Sovereign Court" has clearly expressed Navneet (Otherworldly) symbols.
 Where: The Sun (circle — the image of the female womb) corresponds to the feminine, and the Month — The Horned God the Father (Velez Korovichi) — male. In other embodiments, the Sun meets masculine and the moon — female.
 In various embodiments of the carols Kolyada to call or how to Bozic masculine ("Kolyada Bozic — Svarozhich Fair"), and as the embodiment of the holiday feminine ("saints Kolyada").