January 5, 2011
Marry Christmas to all Eastern Orthodox People!
You might not know this, but the Russians have two New Years. The first one is on the same day as everybody else’s. It’s an official holiday, which we celebrate with the rest of the world, or anybody who lives by the Gregorian calendar. Our other New Year is the Old Style New Year, and it’s one of our most favourite Russian holidays. It takes place on January 14th. This tradition originated in 1918, when the international calendar was introduced in Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church still celebrates all the holidays according to the old calendar. Hence, we also celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
In our family, we have also used this calendar disparity as an excuse to celebrate two Christmases. The more holidays there better, no? If you don’t approach them too formally, of course. By which I mean, if there aren’t any obligations to do things a certain way. Then you just have another opportunity to socialize, relax, goof around, and eat something special. You can enjoy the sight of the holiday decorations. Make some delicious food, and have it without feeling guilty. Open a bottle of champagne. Hooray for the holidays!
You can read very interesting, full of historical and personal details post about Eastern Orthodox Christmas in the Recollections of a Vagabonde blog.