The rise of the first evening dawn on December 25 marks for Western Christians the beginning of celebrating the Nativity of Christ. As is known from history, it was on this day, according to the Gregorian calendar, Son of God Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, and, following the light of a bright star, the Magi went to the ancient city with gifts for the baby.
The Catholic community of Turkmenistan also celebrates the bright holiday with their relatives and friends. Each European country has long-established its tradition of celebrating the Christmas Night.
The Spaniards dress up in folk costumes, go out to the streets, sing and dance, and the Czechs guess on apples on the Christmas Eve, believing that if you see the “right” star of seeds in a cut across apple, then the next year will certainly be happy.
Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of believers in Turkmenistan practice Islam, congratulating Catholics on their holy holiday is considered polite manners. The officially recognized Catholic Church of Turkmenistan has long been a meeting place for people of different confessions, and guests who come here for the Christmas Holiday feel like part of a large family.
– It is the 23rd time that the Catholic Church is celebrating Christmas in Ashgabat, Father Andrzej says. – We are very pleased that the whole city at this time shines with lights, and hundreds of thousands of light bulbs give a unique atmosphere to the holiday. Every year we try to build a crib (the birthplace of Jesus Christ) in our parish in a special way. We welcome all guests who have decided to come for our Christmas celebration. On the Christmas Eve, a solemn dinner took place, which was attended by many children, and was the opening of the holiday week.
The blessed prayers in the Ashgabat Catholic parish sound in different languages. Among the guests who attended the celebration were regular parishioners as well as those who came for the first time. Hugging and wishing each other peace, people are not shy about expressing feelings, exchanging Christmas gifts, and singing Christmas songs holding hands.
– We share the good news about the birth of Son of God with everyone – this is the holiday of each of us. There is not only suffering in the world, but also hope for salvation. As we know, every person needs hope, priest Yuri Jerzy says.
Congratulating the Turkmenistan citizens on Catholic Christmas, Father Andrzej reminds that the whole week will be devoted to this bright holiday. And next Sunday a children’s matinee will be held, where children will be presented with gifts from St. Nicholas.
– Let’s thank God for every day of our lives. The greatest wealth for people on the entire Earth should be an invitation to live and grow in love, to bring up children in harmony and happiness.