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André Luiz, 29 y.o.

Brazil

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Orthodox and Catholic Christmas

Christmas happens on the date December 25, when is celebrated the Jesus Christ's birth.
So, today is Christmas. You may think there is a mistake here, arguing that today is January 7 and Christmas occurs on the day December 25.


Christians (such as Catholics and Orthodoxes) commemorate Christmas on December 25 really, but on different days.


Those phrases may be confusing, but they are true. This text will explain more about the issue.
The Catholic religion and the Orthodox one (both are the two greatest Christian confessions) adopted distinct calendars to their respective events. While the first one uses the Gregorian Calendar, the second utilizes the Julian Calendar.
Those calendars have equal format, in other words, they contain the same months and correspondent days anually. In fact, they were the same calendar in the past. But currently, the date in Julian Calendar is 13 days earlier than the one in Gregorian Calendar.
That difference between them has a historical context. As their own names indicate, the Julian Calendar was propused by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and took effect from 45 BC, then later, the Gregorian Calendar was promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII in the year 1582. The reform made by the Catholic Pope corrected the 13 days gap between the calendar date and the actual date of the change of seasons (equinoxes and solstices). The Orthodox Church did not accept that reform in the calendar to fix the discrepancy mentioned, and then it continues still using the Julian Calendar nowadays.
On the other hand, the Gregorian Calendar began to be utilized by the Catholic Church and several locals in the world. The Julian Calendar was the predominant one during relative long time, but it has been gradually replaced as the civil calendar by the Gregorian Calendar in almost all countries which formerly used it.
Even Russia, for example, where there are many Orthodox people and such religion is the most popular there. As Russia is a laic country, it adopted the Gregorian Calendar as the official one, in the twentieth century. So, religious events or festivals are not part of the calendar of Russia Federation. Those moments follow the Julian Calendar there, including the Christmas. Other countries in Eastern Europe are laic and celebrate Christmas according to the Julian Calendar, such as Ukraine, Belarus, etc.
The Orthodoxy is the religion with more believers not only in Russia, but in Eastern Europe too. So, it is common to commemorate Christmas in those places today. And the most of the women registered on this site are from there. Thus, if you could not send a letter or anything else to someone on Christmas of 13 days ago, or if you want to make a surprise or impress anyone today, that is an opportunity.
Something interesting is that when the Catholics are finishing the Christmas celebration, the Orthodoxes are ready to enjoy the night of Christmas. Traditionally, the Christmas tree, nativity decorations and other ornaments are disassembled and stored on Three King's Day, while it is common to celebrate Christmas at night of Christmas Eve. Coincidentally, the Three King's Day (January 6 in the Gregorian Calendar) and the Christmas Eve (December 24 in the Julian Calendar) are the same day.
Resuming this post: the Orthodoxy and the Catholicism celebrate Christmas on December 25, but on different days, as they follow distinct calendars.
The current day is December 25, 2017, considering the Julian Calendar, and then the Orthodox Religion is commemorating Christmas today. Also, that date corresponds to January 7, 2018, according to the Gregorian Calendar. So, the Catholic Religion celebrated Christmas 13 days ago. Anyway, Catholics will enjoy Christmas in 2018 yet, so as the Orthodoxes. So, since now, I wish to everyone:

Merry Christmas!

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André Luiz, 29 y.o.

Brazil

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Merry Xmas!





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