Orthodox Christmas Day
(Also known as Old Christmas Day)
Orthodox Christmas Day is observed next on Sunday, January 7th, 2024 (104 days from today).
On the Gregorian calendar, Orthodox Christmas Day is celebrated on or near January 7. This date is December 25 in the Julian calendar, which predates the Gregorian calendar. This is the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who is said to be the son of God.
Orthodox Christmas Day History
There are Orthodox Churches in the United States that recognize holidays according to the Julian calendar, such as the Russian, Ukrainian, and Serbian Orthodox Churches. Christmas is still celebrated on December 25 on the Julian calendar, therefore, January 7 is only valid between 1901 and 2100. The Gregorian date for Orthodox Christmas would be January 8 of the year. 2101 if the Julian calendar is still in use.
The version of Julian calendar in 1923 is more in line with the Gregorian calendar. Some Orthodox churches follow the modified Julian calendar but many Orthodox churches still follow the more traditional Julian calendar, with an early date for Christian observations before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar.
According to the Orthodox Church in America, many Orthodox Christian Americans celebrate Christmas according to the modified Julian calendar.
The symbols of Christmas Day is not presents, eggs or Christmas figures that have become popular, Christmas Day is a time for healing soul. It was also a time of peace and unity.
In some countries, dinning tables will be covered with white cloth to symbolize. Straw can be placed on these dining tables to symbolize the place where Jesus was born. The lit candle symbolizes the light of Christ and the Christmas meal symbolizes the end of fasting.
What Do People Do?
Orthodox Christians in Central and Eastern Europe as well as other parts of the world celebrate Christmas on January 7. Christmas holidays around January 7 may vary from house to house. worship. The day is a time for reflection, introspection and healing in many Eastern European countries. Many Orthodox Christians fast before January 7, which usually excludes meat and dairy products. Food may include:
Nuts and fresh dried fruit.
Vegetables and herbs like potatoes, peas, and garlic.
Chickpeas cooked with potatoes, garlic and spices.
Bobal'ki (small biscuits including sauerkraut or poppy seeds with honey).
On the other hand, Christmas Day is a day to eat and drink and enjoy the company of friends and family members. The Christmas meal usually includes meat and various pastries. A traditional Russian Christmas dish is roast goose with apples.
The type of food and activities may vary depending on the culture and traditions of that country. In some Orthodox Christian cultures, people walk in processions to seas, rivers, and lakes as part of an Orthodox Christmas Day ritual. They make holes in the ice to bless the water if it freezes. Commercialized gift exchange and Christmas are of little importance.
How about Orthodox Christmas Day in the United States?
In the United States, it is believed that many Orthodox Christians fast before Christmas Day. Many people perceive nativity as a time to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They believed that fasting helps us shift focus from themselves to others, spending less time worrying about food and more time focusing on prayer and caring for the poor. In turn, fasting before Christmas allows one to fully enjoy, appreciate and celebrate the nativity of Christ.
Many Orthodox Christians attend a special church service on Christmas Day on January 7. Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas Day with various traditions. For example, many churches light a small bonfire of blessed palm trees and burn incense in memory of the gifts of the three wise men (also known as the Magi) to baby Jesus. Some parishes have common celebrations for Christmas Day.
ObservedOrthodox Christmas Day has been observed annually on January 7th.
Friday, January 7th, 2022
Saturday, January 7th, 2023
Sunday, January 7th, 2024
Tuesday, January 7th, 2025
Wednesday, January 7th, 2026