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The meal often consists of 12 dishes, representing the 12 disciples of Jesus. It was evening when Babushka arrived at Bethlehem and she had been traveling for a long time. She knew now that the baby king was the most important thing in the world to her. 'Vzvar' (meaning 'boil-up') is often served at the end of the meal. She went into the local inn and asked about the kings. "They have gone to Egypt, and safety," he told Babushka. There are Russian Christmas cookies called Kozulya which are made in the shape of a sheep, goat or deer. In some areas, children will go carol singing round the homes of friends and family and to wish people a happy new year. The kings would have found somewhere else to rest by now. They went that way." For a day Babushka followed the trail of the kings and the villages got bigger and became towns. The date is different because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the old 'Julian' calendar for religious celebration days. But it has fixed dates, starting on 28th November and going to the 6th January, so it's 40 days long. Some people fast (don't eat anything) on Christmas Eve, until the first star has appeared in the sky.The official Christmas and New holidays in Russia last from December 31st to January 10th. People then eat 'sochivo' or 'kutia' a porridge made from wheat or rice served with honey, poppy seeds, fruit (especially berries and dried fruit like raisins), chopped walnuts or sometimes even fruit jellies!However, most people in Russia have NEVER heard of the story as it was probably created by an American poet and writer called Edith Matilda Thomas in 1907!

If people did want to celebrate Christmas, they had to do it in secret just in their families.One evening she was busy dusting and cleaning, so busy that she didn't hear all the villagers outside in the village square talking about and looking at the new star in sky. " The kings didn't know, but they believed that it would lead the to a new-born king, a King of Earth and Heaven. She had heard about the new star but thought, "All this fuss about a star! Once in a small Russian town, there lived a women called Babushka. "My baby son, died when he was small." Balthasar stopped her as she went to tidy the kitchen up. Come with us when the star appears tonight." he said. As the kings slept, Babushka tidied up as quietly as she could. " she thought, "and this new king, what a funny idea, to go off with the kings to find him." Babushka shook herself. I couldn't just leave it." Suddenly it was night-time again and the star was in the sky. Babushka ran back into her house, keen to get on with her work. Babushka always had work to do sweeping, polishing, dusting and cleaning. There was no time for dreaming, all this washing-up and putting away had to be done. Finally, she went to the small cupboard, opened the door and gazed at all the toys.

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