Author Topic: Christmas time  (Read 1244 times)

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Offline Maik

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Christmas time
« on: Saturday, 07 January, 2017 @ 12:28:25 »
Why do some Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas in January?

This Friday and Saturday millions of Orthodox Christians around the world will be celebrating Christmas, nearly three weeks after many people in the West have already feasted and begun the New Year.

For countries including Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Serbia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan, Friday, January 6 is Christmas Eve.

The difference is due to how Catholic and Orthodox Christians use different calendars to mark the holy day.

Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, the Gregorian calendar is the world’s widest used civil calendar and it is this calendar that Catholic Christians use to celebrate Christmas on December 25.

The calendar was initially proposed to change the date of Easter so that it always falls near to the spring equinox.

But Orthodox Christians — excluding the Greek Orthodox Church — use the Julian calendar, implemented in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar, which is a whole 13 days later.

The Greek Orthodox Church in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1923.

The Orthodox in Jerusalem also celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar.

Technically speaking, Christmas in the Julian calendar still falls on December 25, whereas it falls on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar.

For Gregorian calendar Christians, January 6 marks the day of the Epiphany – the day which celebrates the revelation of God in human form as Jesus. It is also the day the three wise men , following a star in the desert night sky, appeared in Bethlehem at Jesus’ side following his birth.