Friday, December 19, 2008

St Nicholas

A bit of a religion lesson today...but no preaching.

Today is St Nicholas Day in the Russian Orthodox Church, which uses the Julian calendar instead of the more-commonly used Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian, so that means that Christmas is celebrated on January 7th instead of December 25th. And that's why today is St Nicholas Day instead of December 6th.

Some Orthodox churches have adopted the newer calendar and celebrate their holidays at the same time as the rest of the Christian world, but the church in which I was raised and in which my son was baptized still follows the old calendar.

All members of the church must be named after a saint in order to be baptized. Traditionally, a baby is named after a saint whose holy day is the day of the child's birth. However, many Orthodox church members no longer follow that...some of the names would be quite unusual for the 21st century...and that's why my son is named Nicholas even though he was born in July. Today is his "saint's day", so in honor of that, I'm posting a photo of the various St Nicholas's that my husband has carved over the years.

I bet that's more than you ever wanted to know about the Russian Orthodox Church...but you never know when this kind of info might come in handy for Jeopardy...


Barb said...

Anya, thank you for the info about the "St. Nicholas", I found it very interesting to read! Also your hubby is very talented, beautiful carvings of St. Nicholas. Does he carve one each year?

Diane said...

Anya, Just added you to my list of favorite blogs!

Diane ;-))

Melissa Wertz said...

Those are beautiful carvings. Beautiful indeed. So today is St. Nicolas Day/the Bishop of Myra in the Julian Calendar. Neat! OK "Neat!" I am showing my age!

Zoey said...

Wow, your husband is a talented carver. Those St. Nicks are great!

I enjoyed the lesson and will try to remember it all for the Religion category of Jeopardy. :)

sparkle jars said...

I enjoyed reading this post so much...and your husband is very talented...the carvings are wonderful!