Orthodox Christmas

Every January 7th is the Orthodox Christmas, the Russians most affected by the Orthodox culture.


The Orthodox Church is an independent faction of Christianity and has a history of nearly ten centuries. Since the Byzantine Empire is the cradle of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church is also known as the Byzantine faction. However, the Orthodox Church has already moved to Russia. Since the 1990s, various parts of Russia have begun to rebuild or build new churches. The most typical one is the Cathedral of Jesus Christ the Savior, the most rebuilt cathedral in the center of Moscow. The church was completed in 1999 and cost more than 400 million US dollars.


As one of the three branches of Christianity, the Orthodox Church has many differences in doctrine, organization, and ceremonies with the Catholic Church in the West. But the difference in Christmas festival is not the above reason, but because there are two kinds of calendars at the same time.


The Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar, which is 13 days later than the Gregorian calendar used in most countries, which is the Gregorian calendar. This makes the festivals of the Russian Orthodox Church different from the festivals of the Western Christian Festival. After 1918, the revolutionary government carried out the Gregorian calendar, but it was not accepted by the church. The church activities still used the old calendar. But there are also Catholics in Russia, so Jesus’ birthday must be done once in the Gregorian calendar and 13 days later.


In the West, Christmas is the most important festival, almost universal. According to the rules of the Orthodox Church, Russia regards Easter as the first major festival and Christmas ranks second.


In addition, because the Orthodox Church has been a Russian state religion since the 10th century, the influence of the Catholic Church is much smaller. Therefore, although there is a certain atmosphere in December 25th, there are not many people in the church on Christmas Eve. At that time, you can also see Santa Claus in white robes and a Christmas tree with small bells and small gifts. However, Russia's "New Year's Elders" (also known as "The Elderly") and the New Year's Elms are also present at this time. The appearance of the two is indistinguishable to me. The latter is more deeply rooted in the feelings.