Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Orthodox Christmas

Blogger Graphics Today is Christmas for the Eastern Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar rather than the more-commonly used Gregorian calendar. (see my post from Dec 19 for more info on the calendars)

This day is often confused with Epiphany, which was celebrated yesterday, January 6th, by Christian churches that follow the Gregorian calendar. Orthodox Christmas has nothing to do with that date -- Epiphany on the Julian calendar will be on January 19th.

When I was growing up, I considered myself to be quite a lucky child because I had 2 Christmases. My family celebrated December 25th as the "fun" Christmas with Santa, presents, etc. (they didn't want me to feel left out from the rest of my friends who were celebrating then). The religious and "serious" Christmas came on January 7th, which meant going to church and food and family (and some presents again...yippee!). My parents even insisted that I stay home from school on that day (it was always interesting trying to explain to the teachers why my Christmas was different than everyone else's...)

My son was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church and my husband (who grew up as a Lutheran) and I have continued the tradition of celebrating 2 Christmases. Our tree and decorations don't come down until after the 7th and our son still gets a present or two today.

So to all my fellow Orthodox Christians who celebrate today...Merry Christmas!

I plan to celebrate by making another Dear Jane block...maybe a photo tomorrow!

8 comments:

Barb said...

Thank you Anya for sharing this info, I have not really had any knowledge of the Orthodox Christmas tradition ~ truly thank you for sharing!

Susan said...

Merry Christmas!

karenfae said...

how interesting! This sounds like a very good reason to celebrate 2 Xmas's to me :) I have read a little over the years of the Orthodox Christmas tradition but really do not know much about it.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Nanci said...

well Merry Christmas then!

RachelJane said...

Merry Christmas. One of my Ukrainian co-workers celebrates on January 7 - he gets an extra day off work, too. Thanks for enlightening us!

sparkle jars said...

I'm so glad you shared this! Tradition is so important. :-)

Wendy said...

A warm Merry Christmas to you.

Heather said...

we used to celebrate orthodox Christmas when my great grandmother (Baba) was alive. she would go to church, then come to my grandmother's and we'd have dinner. No gifts. We did keep our tree up till then.