Christmas is preceded by the forty days Christmas Fast, when we live the old world expectations for the Saviour to be born. The three Sundays preceding the Christmas Day are called the Children’s Day, the Mother’s Day and the Father’s Day, respectively.
In the weeks of preparation for Christmas, during the fasting period, we are symbolically getting released, “untied” from the ties of nature, sin and mortality and are creating news ties of mutual love and love to God. In the three holidays preceding Christmas, the tying and untying is performed three times. First the children get tied. Three weeks before Christmas, on Sunday morning or upon coming from the church, after the service, the grownups ties their children, but also someone else’s children. It is usually done with a belt or a string, or a strong thread. Children’s arms and legs are tied to a table or a chair. Tying also symbolises strong family ties, and reminds the family members to be thrifty and consistent in the virtues that bring us closer to God. On the Children’s Day, thrifty children can easily “buy out” their freedom – with a small gift, a token for their parents.