There are many traditions that Orthodox Christians have in honor of Christmas. Some of these include the Fasting of Christ before the feast, and observance of the Revised Julian calendar. However, some of these may be commercialized, and not all of these are strictly religious. For example, a few Orthodox Christian families also celebrate Christmas with non-religious gifts such as Santa Claus.
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Fasting before Christmas
In the Orthodox Christian Church, fasting before Christmas is a time of preparation for the Nativity of Jesus. It is a time to prepare the mind and spirit for the coming of Christ, and to focus on His mission in the world. Moreover, it is a time to anticipate His coming again.
Fasting during the pre-Christmas season helps create an interior attitude of prayer, separation from material things, and a desire to receive the greatest gift. Those who fast before the holiday season are able to fully enjoy the celebrations.
To ensure that you have a fulfilling experience during your fast, you can contact your parish priest to learn more about the rules. You can also talk to other members of your congregation to find out how to make it easier for you to keep your fast.
The Eastern Orthodox Church has a very specific set of rules for fasting. This includes avoiding certain foods such as fish, eggs, red meat, dairy products, and poultry. Some Orthodox churches may not even allow you to drink wine or oil during the fast.
Orthodox Christians have a different take on Christmas. It’s a time for prayer and reflection on the birth of Jesus Christ.
It’s also a season of philanthropy. The Orthodox Church, which dates back to the early fourth century, has more than 200 million members worldwide.
While it’s hard to say exactly how many Christians celebrate Christmas, the holiday is still widely celebrated. In some areas of the world, such as Ethiopia, it’s a three-hour ceremony involving dances, games, food, and presents.
On the other hand, in many other parts of the world, such as Russia, Christmas is a relatively small holiday. During the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, many Protestant churches did not hold a celebration on Christmas, instead observing the day as a normal work day.
Aside from the traditional Christian feast, Christmas is also a major commercial celebration. Commercialism has increased the holiday’s popularity over the years.
While most westerners observe the holiday on December 25, orthodox Christians, on the other hand, don’t. This is probably because the Julian calendar, which is used by most of the Orthodox Church, places Christmas on January 7. However, this has not stopped Orthodox Christians from celebrating the holiday on a more traditional date.
There are many different traditions of Orthodox Christians celebrating Christmas. The celebrations vary by country and culture. In some countries, it’s a very religious event, while in others it’s a time to enjoy and eat. Whatever the case, Christmas is a very important holiday.
It is the traditional time of the year for Orthodox Christians to attend special church services. They also may participate in festive activities such as singing, praying, and even donating. Aside from traditional celebrations, the day is also a good opportunity for Christians to reflect on the birth of Jesus and his role in our lives.
Some people believe that a “Christmas spirit” or a special type of power is present on Christmas Day. The gifts and presents given to children are symbolic of Jesus’ birth.
A traditional Christmas dinner includes roasted and fried fish, vegetables, dried and fresh fruits, pies, and nuts. Some churches have special foods for the celebration, such as kasha (porridge) and bread with a cross on top.
Observance of the Revised Julian calendar
Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25 in the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar dates 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. Some Orthodox churches allow the use of the Julian calendar, while other adhere to the Gregorian calendar.
When Western European countries adopted the Gregorian calendar, they shifted the start of the year to January. However, many countries that adopted the Julian calendar continued to use the Julian calendar for religious purposes, including Orthodox Christian churches.
While the Gregorian calendar was introduced in the late 1500s, the Julian calendar was created in the 45th century by Julius Caesar of Rome. The Julian calendar was used in Europe until 1582. It was later inherited by European settlements in the Americas and other parts of the world.
For a short time, the Ottoman Empire also used the Julian calendar for financial purposes. But in 1840, the empire dropped “escape years” tied to Muslim chronology.
Most Greek Orthodox Christians continue to celebrate their Christmas on December 25. Others, like the Armenian Orthodox Church, celebrate on January 6th.