Orthodox Christmas

orthodox Christmas

orthodox Christmas

Rita Faltas, Staff Reporter

The Orthodox Christmas is not on the calendar, but Groundhog Day is? Everyone knows that Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. It’s a day that everyone is looking forward to, all the festivities, lights, decorations, gifts, and more. While people take down their decorations right after December 25th the Coptic Orthodox Church is just getting started on their holiday. Christmas isn’t celebrated on December 25th but on January 7th in accordance with the Julian calendar for countries like Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine.

While people around the world start their Christmas in the month of December, the Orthodox Church starts on November 28th. Starting November 28th to January 6th, the Coptic Orthodox Church fasts in preparation of the birth of Christ. They prepare by fasting for 45 days, the Nativity lent. The fast is not cutting food for 45 days, but abstaining certain food and drink from their diet, particularly meat and dairy products.

January 6th is Christmas Eve for the Orthodox Church. They dress up and go to church and pray. After praying, they break their fast by eating all together and giving thanks for another year. January 7th is Christmas day, that’s when the gifts are opened, and people get together and celebrate.

A lot of people don’t know the Orthodox Christmas exists and it’s very much not acknowledged by school systems or workplaces for those who are celebrating the holiday. The Orthodox community must miss the day of either work or school and explain why they must miss it. While some places do excuse them for this holiday, some are forced to go and work on this holiday. While only eleven countries celebrate Christmas according to the Coptic calendar, it deserves to be put on the calendar and be acknowledged as a holiday to respect those who celebrate it.