Every year, on January 7, Orthodox Christmas Day is observed. Isn’t it amazing to have a second Christmas right before the start of the New Year? Can you believe that Christmas was first observed 13 days after December 25 (the day on which we all celebrate it today)? Christmas was observed on January 7 in the Julian calendar, a much earlier calendar used prior to the present Gregorian calendar.
Christmas Day is still observed by the Orthodox Church according to the previous calendar. Orthodox Christians observe the holiday by attending church and engaging in customs like burning frankincense to symbolize the gifts given to the infant Jesus by the Wise Men.
History of the Orthodox Christmas Day
The Russian, Ukrainian, and Serbian Orthodox Churches are a few Orthodox denominations in America that observe Julian calendar holidays. The Julian calendar still observes Christmas on December 25, so January 7 is only appropriate from 1901 to 2100. Orthodox Christmas would fall on January 8 in the Gregorian calendar. If the Julian calendar is still in use, the year 2101.
The Julian calendar used in 1923 is closer to the Gregorian calendar. Many Orthodox churches continue to use the more conventional Julian calendar, which has an early date for Christian observances before the Gregorian calendar was introduced, while some Orthodox churches use the modified Julian calendar. The Orthodox Church asserts Numerous Americans who practice Orthodox Christianity observe Christmas using a modified Julian calendar.
Christmas Day is a time for soul-healing; it does not symbolize gifts, eggs, or the increasingly popular Christmas figurines. It was also a period of harmony and serenity. Some nations will cover dining tables with white tablecloths as a sign of symbolism. These dining tables can be decorated with straw to represent the spot where Jesus was born. The Christmas supper represents the conclusion of fasting, and the lit candle represents the light of Christ.
Activities on the Orthodox Christmas Day
- Attend a Christmas service in the Orthodox faith
Attending their Christmas service is the ideal way to observe Orthodox Christmas Day. Physically participate with them to enjoy the festivities and soak in the holiday spirit.
- Fast along with them.
On the days leading up to Christmas, Orthodox churches observe fasts. You can observe a fast alongside them or follow their tradition and refrain from eating meat and dairy at that time.
Give your Orthodox Christian friends presents.
The main theme of Christmas is sharing our love and caring with others. Another way we can demonstrate our love and respect for our Orthodox Christian friends and bring joy to their faces and hearts is by giving them presents.
American Christians Celebrate an Orthodox Christmas
Many Orthodox Christians are said to fast before Christmas Day in the US. Nativity is frequently seen as a season of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. They held the view that fasting allows us to change our attention from ourselves to others, devoting more time to prayer and helping the needy. In turn, fasting before Christmas enables one to completely understand, celebrate, and enjoy the nativity of Christ.
On January 7, a large number of Orthodox believers attend a special church service in observance of Christmas. Christmas Day is observed in diverse ways by Orthodox churches. For instance, several churches create a small bonfire with consecrated palm trees and burn incense in remembrance of the gifts the three wise men, commonly referred to as the Magi, to the infant Jesus. On Christmas Day, some parishes hold collective events.
Orthodox Christmas Day FAQs
- When does Orthodox Christmas Eve observe?
Orthodox Christmas Eve is marked on January 6, as the Orthodox Church recognizes January 7 as the day Jesus was born. The 24th of December is observed as Christmas Eve in several parts of the world.
- What do you have to say about Orthodox Christmas?
You wish your Orthodox friends a Merry Christmas as well.
Orthodox Christmas 2023 Wishes:
- Christmas is the time for prayers, singing carols, and reading the bible. It’s time to recollect and walk on the righteous path laid by God…”
- “May our lives are blessed with the choicest blessings of Jesus. Warm wishes on Christmas to you…”
- “Let us not forget to offer our prayers to the almighty amidst the celebrations. Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas…”
- “May the lord bless you with peace, love, and joy. May he give you the wisdom to see the light of truth. Merry Christmas…”
- “Let’s pray this year that all the lovely creations stay blessed and the almighty showers his blessings on all…”
- “Let the Jingle bells ring, and bring laughter and fun. May the lord bless all the beautiful children with all the happiness they deserve…”
Happy Orthodox Christmas Messages:
- “With the ultimate objective for humankind to be enhanced by the Seal of DIVINITY…”
- “Give us an opportunity to open our way to the people who ask our vindication…”
- “In this Day of Peace – Let us not be vanquished by disappointment. Today the Bountiful crushed Himself for the prosperity of we; Along these lines, rich one, welcome the poor to your table…”
- “Today we get a Gift for which we didn’t ask; – So allowed us to offer philanthropy to the people who ask and beseech us…”
- “Today the DIVINE BEING took upon Himself the seal of our mankind…”
- “Wish every one of you an extraordinarily cheery Christmas. Stay supported in the rectory endowment of the ruler…”