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Orthodox Christmas History
Orthodox Christmas, observed by millions of Orthodox Christians worldwide, is a religious celebration that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. It is characterized by liturgical services, feasting, and the exchange of gifts, much like other Christmas traditions. However, its distinctiveness lies in the use of the Julian calendar, which sets it apart from Western Christian observances that rely on the Gregorian calendar. This divergence results in different dates for this significant celebration.
Orthodox Christianity arrived in North America in the late 18th century through Russian missionaries. Over time, its propagation has established distinct traditions that sometimes merge with local customs. Orthodox Christmas has proven to be no exception, as Americans of Orthodox faith move away from commercialization, placing emphasis on spiritual preparation, repentance, and fasting in the weeks leading up to the celebration. This more introspective approach strikes a chord with those seeking a deeper meaning in holiday festivities.
In America, Orthodox Christmas is observed on January 7th, thirteen days after Western Christmas. Preparations begin with a 40-day Nativity Fast leading up to the holiday. The fast is often followed by a night vigil or a Divine Liturgy on Christmas Eve. The celebratory meal enjoyed after the Church service often includes traditional foods, symbolizing the end of the fast. The Orthodox Christmas, steeped in sacred tradition and symbolism, offers a unique perspective to the tapestry of American holiday observances.
Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for Orthodox Christmas -Updated
Facts about Orthodox Christmas
In the News and Trending in the US for Orthodox ChristmasUpdated Ukraine dismisses Putin's call for weekend cease-fire during Russian Orthodox Christmas as "hypocrisy"
cbsnews.comDay 25: That Time an Orthodox Jew Celebrated Christmas
nytimes.comPutin declares unilateral 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas
washingtonpost.comPutin calls for Ukraine cease-fire to mark Russian Orthodox Christmas
Top things to do in the US for Orthodox Christmas
Orthodox Christmas references and related sitesgoarch.org: Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Catholic Encyclopedia: Christmas orthochristian.com: The Orthodox Nativity Fast Can Help Prevent Post-Holiday Blues