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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas in Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world.

The Russian Orthodox Church is second only to the Roman Catholic Church in terms of numbers of followers.  Around 200 million people follow the Eastern tradition of worship.

the Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, with Christmas falling on January 7. The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. It was later superseded by Gregorian calendar, adopted in 1582.  Christmas is also celebrated on January 7 by the Ukrainian, Georgian, Serbian and some other churches. .

In the Orthodox Church, Christmas is the second most important event of the calendar year after Easter. On January 6, many believers refrain from eating at all before the first star appears, proceeding by 10 pm to churches for Christmas services. After the service, on January 7, people traditionally congratulate each other and organize holiday feasts.

Christmas services continue in churches on January 7 until late evening. And from the following day, January 8, through to the 17th, is the time, when various festivities are traditionally enjoyed. During this period, people fast every Wednesday and Friday.

Merry Christmas!
Pronounced: S-roh-zh-dee-st-vom!

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