Christmas at the Vatican
Throughout the Christian world, Christmas - one of themost favorite holidays. Especially magnificently fun and celebrate the inhabitants of the northern countries, where winter days are short, the nights are long, and the lack of heat and light is compensated in days of celebrations strong drinks and lots of luminous decorations on Christmas elkah, in shop windows, campfire, the launch of firecrackers, fireworks and fireworks .
Vatican Christmas celebration takes placesomewhat differently. In Rome the day shops close early and the city emptied. Houses almost never decorated. With the first star of the family gathers around the holiday table, which is traditionally present fish, vegetables and pastries. Well, the Italian wine in sufficient quantities. But no fireworks and dance around the Christmas tree. Tree pose no means all families. Even Santa Claus does not come to them in the evening.
The main tree is set on Italy's SquareSt. Peter's. In the Cathedral of St. Peter in 21-30 Christmas Mass begins. The cathedral can hold up to 60 thousand people, but want to get there on Christmas night more. And those who are not fortunate enough to buy a ticket for the main service, remain on the square, which can accommodate more about 400 thousand people, and for them on the big screens broadcast Christmas Mass.
What can be seen in the Christmas night
These days in every Catholic cathedral certainlynativity scene exhibit - the legendary cave where Christ was born among the sheep, goats, pigs. The figures of people and animals are cut, sometimes in life-size, of olive and richly decorated. Scenes of Christ's birth with wooden figurines of the participants of this event look so pathetic that they can not cause a fluttering in the heart of even the most ossified atheist. Sometimes in Rome organize exhibition of nativity scenes, where you can see the products that come down to us from the Middle Ages.
On Christmas Eve the streets of Rome, you canmeet shepherds pipers. In their exotic outfits they are ready to tear your ears the sound of bagpipes for free, and as long as you do not run away from them.
The next day at noon, Popeout on your balcony and turns to the congregation gathered in St. Peter's Square, with a Christmas message "To the city and the world» (Urbi et orbi). And for that moment, hundreds of thousands of Catholics from different countries come here to hear the good news from the Pope and receive his blessing.
The Vatican Museums
But the visit to the Vatican and not visit its museums -unforgivable mistake. On them you can write endlessly, and yet say nothing. You can only see. And the excitement that gripped you in their halls, eclipsed everything that you had seen up to this point and for all to settle in your heart a desire to return to the Vatican.