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Orthodox Christmas Day

Celebrate Orthodox Christmas Day with a special feast, traditions, and activities - make it memorable with family and friends!
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When it is?
January 7
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Religious
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United States
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Introduction

Get ready to celebrate Orthodox Christmas Day on January 7! This religious holiday is celebrated by many Christians around the world, especially in Eastern Europe and Russia. The special day commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and has been celebrated for centuries. It's a joyous occasion filled with spiritual reflection, worship services, gift exchanges and delicious traditional meals shared with family and friends.

History of Orthodox Christmas Day

Orthodox Christmas Day Dates

Orthodox Christmas Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>4th century</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Christmas Adoption</div><div class='timeline-text'>By the late 4th century, the Roman Church officially celebrated Christmas on December 25.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1582</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Gregorian Calendar Introduced</div><div class='timeline-text'>Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar, which was adopted by the western countries, leading to a shift in the date of Christmas.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>16th century</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Orthodox Church Rejects Gregorian Calendar</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Eastern Orthodox Churches rejected the revised calendar and continued to base their liturgical calendar on the Julian one.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1922</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Revised Julian Calendar</div><div class='timeline-text'>Some Orthodox Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox Church, adopted the Revised Julian calendar, which has the same date for Christmas as the Gregorian calendar.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Today</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Orthodox Christmas</div><div class='timeline-text'>However, many Eastern Orthodox Churches, including Russian, Serbian and Jerusalem Orthodox Churches, still celebrate Christmas on January 7th, which corresponds to December 25th in the Julian calendar.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Orthodox Christmas Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a church service</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>One of the best ways to celebrate Orthodox Christmas Day is to attend a service at your local Orthodox Church. This will allow you to immerse yourself in the traditions and customs of the day while participating in a meaningful spiritual experience.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Prepare a traditional meal</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Preparing a traditional meal for Orthodox Christmas Day is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Dishes such as stuffed cabbage, beet soup, and honey cake are just some of the dishes commonly served on this day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Exchange gifts</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Exchanging gifts is common practice when celebrating Orthodox Christmas Day. Family members and close friends often give each other small tokens of love and appreciation.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Light candles</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Lighting candles during the celebration of Orthodox Christmas Day is an ancient tradition that symbolizes hope, joy, and peace. Lighting these candles provides a sense of warmth and comfort during the cold winter months.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Gather with friends & family</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gathering with friends and family is another way to celebrate Orthodox Christmas Day. Gather around the dinner table to share food and stories, or play games together for a fun evening full of laughter.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Orthodox Christmas Day

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Orthodox Christmas is the start of a new year</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Orthodox Christmas marks the start of the New Year for Orthodox Christians and serves to remind us how blessed we are to have each other. Celebrating this special day with our family and friends helps to promote peace, joy and understanding in our communities.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Orthodox Christmas is festive and fun</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>From sharing traditional meals to exchanging gifts, celebrating Orthodox Christmas is an enjoyable way to reconnect with friends and family members. Whether you're attending church services or participating in cultural activities there's always something special about this time of year.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It celebrates Jesus's birth</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The celebration of Jesus' birth on Orthodox Christmas makes it a very spiritual time for Orthodox believers. We can reflect on his life and teachings, while also taking time to celebrate his miraculous entry into the world with those around us.</p></div></div>

5 Orthodox Christmas Facts You Didn't Know

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Christmas Day Celebrates Jesus Christ's Birth on a Later Date</h3><p class='facts-content'>In accordance with the Julian Calendar, which is different from the widely-used Gregorian calendar, Orthodox Christmas falls on January 7.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Christmas Day is Celebrated Differently Across Countries</h3><p class='facts-content'>Traditions can vary widely from country to country. In many Eastern European countries, Orthodox Christmas Day comes with elaborate feasts, caroling, and liturgical services at church.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Christmas Season Extends Until Epiphany</h3><p class='facts-content'>The festive season for Orthodox Christians extends until Epiphany on January 19, when the baptism of Jesus Christ is commemorated.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Christmas Involves a 40-day Fast</h3><p class='facts-content'>Before Christmas, Orthodox Christians traditionally participate in a 40-day fast known as the Nativity Fast in preparation for the holy day.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Christmas is a Public Holiday in Many Countries</h3><p class='facts-content'>While not as widely recognized as December 25, Orthodox Christmas is a public holiday in many countries including Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus among others.</p></div></div>

Orthodox Christmas Day FAQs

When is Orthodox Christmas Day?

Orthodox Christmas Day is celebrated on January 7 every year. In 2024 Orthodox Christmas Day will occur on a Sunday.

Orthodox Christmas Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Jan 7

Saturday

2024

Jan 7

Sunday

2025

Jan 7

Tuesday

2026

Jan 7

Wednesday

2027

Jan 7

Thursday

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