The Julian calendar was revised in 1923 and this version is more in line with the Gregorian calendar. By 1923, there was a 13-day difference between the two calendars, putting Orthodox Christmas 13 days after December 25. If the Church was to celebrate Christmas, they would have to select a date. After a few decades the Church desired to also celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord on 6 January. It was also the time of the Jewish festival of lights called Hanukkah. In those days, birthdays were not recorded, nor were they considered important. After the Christmas Eve service in Greece, it is tradition to come home from church to break the fast. This date works to the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly observed. These commemorations were each given different dates and you can be sure there was a lot of debate about the dates. Therefore, some Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ on the 25th. The Greek Orthodox churches are descended from churches which the Apostles founded in the Balkans and the Middle East during the first century A.D., as well as maintenance of many ancient church traditions. The day is a time of reflection, inner thoughts and healing in many eastern European countries. Orthodox churches, unlike the Catholic Church, have no single Supreme Pontiff, or Bishop (see also: Pontifex maximus), and hold the belief that Christ is the … This means that churches still on the Julian calendar celebrate Christmas on 6 January and they celebrate Epiphany on 19 January, Source: Lychnos December 2016 / January 2017, © 2020 Greek Orthodox Christian Society | Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia |. Overview. It is believed that fasting helps people shift their focus from themselves to others, spending less time worrying about food and using more time in increased prayer and caring for the poor. The Greek orthadox Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who many Christians believe is the son of God. No date is given in the Bible, only some hints according to certain historical events that happened at that time. Christmas celebrations in Greece officially last for 14 days, starting on Christmas Eve and ending on Epiphany (6 January) with the ‘Great Blessing of Water’. Moreover, in all of the Orthodox countries, there are at least some Catholics and Greek Catholics, so some part of the population might have Christmas at the end of December in their families or communities. The Christmas dates around January 7 may vary among some churches. It is important to remember that in the very first few years of the Church, the only feast days being celebrated were those to do with the death and resurrection of Christ: that is, Pascha. Vegetables and herbs such as potatoes, peas, and garlic. There are several theories surrounding the question as to why 25 December was chosen as the day to celebrate the nativity of our Lord. What do the month names mean? Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on 25 December? Epiphany is celebrated with a wide array of customs around the world. We celebrated Christmas on December 25 th with many of the common western activities and family gatherings. His birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. When the calendar change was made, some jurisdictions such as Moscow, Serbia and Mount Athos, were given the blessing to stay on the “Old Calendar”. A few Orthodox churches follow the revised Julian calendar but most Orthodox churches follow the more traditional Julian calendar, which has the original dates for Christian observances prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction. Together with the Magi, the Kings of the East. One traditional Russian Christmas dish is baked goose with apples. The February Full Moon is named after the snow on the ground. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with its headquarters located in the City of New York, ... Nativity of Christ (December 25) / Christmas Message to the faithful (12/25/2000) "Come, O faithful. 25 March had already been chosen by the Church and it was only natural to put Christmas nine months later. In some Orthodox Christian cultures, people walk in procession to seas, rivers and lakes as part of the liturgy on the Orthodox Christmas Day. On December 20th, the Greek Orthodox Church begins the Forefeast of the Nativity, whose liturgical structure is similar to the Holy Week preceding Pascha, for the birth of the Son of God is the beginning of the saving ministry which will lead Him, for the sake of our salvation, to the ultimate sacrifice of the Cross. Many Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25 but there are some who hold tradition by observing the date on January 7. The Christmas dates around January 7 may vary among some churches. Many people identify the Nativity Fast as the period of preparing to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. Lenten bread… Christmas is still on December 25 in the Julian calendar so the January 7 date is only valid between 1901 and 2100 The Gregorian date for Orthodox Christmas will be January 8 in 2101 if the Julian calendar is still used. In other cultures these remain up until Candlemas on February 2. Symeonides explained that “the one feast day that is celebrated on the same day by all Orthodox Christians is Pascha,” or Easter. Eventually the majority of Christian bishops agreed to celebrate on 25 December. Hong Kong); in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday. Christmas January 7 is also known as the Old Christmas. let us see where Christ was born! Most people measured their ages by making a connection to a historical event. 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