Dating Service
Stop Scammers

age: 35

age: 28

age: 29


Christmas Eve

I am
Look for
Age  - 
Show profiles with photo only
Advanced Search
consulting center
The Russian Orthodox Church continues to follow the older Julian calendar, according to which Christmas falls on Jan. 7. But for all but the deeply religious, Christmas in Russia marks the beginning of the end of more than two weeks of revelry, not the highlight of the season. It is New Year's -- celebrated according to the modern, Gregorian calendar -- that is the season's focus. Dec. 31 is the time to gather with family, exchange gifts and wait for Grandfather Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus. Russian cities look a lot like Western ones around holiday time -- festive lights, a flood of advertising and decorated trees in millions of homes.`

By the time Christmas rolls around, Russia is slightly subdued, if not entirely partied out. For those who take the holiday seriously, the focus is the Christmas Eve church service. The nonreligious may take advantage of another excuse to celebrate -- the whole country gets the day off -- but attempts to commercialize the holiday have so far been limited. ``For me, a not very religious person, it's a continuation of the main holiday,'' said 40-year-old Muscovite Irina Istomina. ``We usually invite friends over and have a nice spread.''`

How did Russia end up with its holidays reversed? The answer -- at least the first part of it -- dates back to 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII replaced the Julian calendar, established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. The Julian calendar was 11 minutes and 14 seconds longer then the solar year, and by Gregory's time, it was 10 days ahead. So Gregory dropped 10 days and corrected the number of leap years to make the calendar correspond more closely to the solar year.`

But by that time, the Eastern Orthodox churches had split from Rome, so Russia and other Orthodox countries did not heed Gregory's order and stuck to the old calendar. After taking power in 1917, Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin decreed that Russia's calendar conform to the one used in most of the world. But the church stuck to its tradition and Christmas stayed where it was. Currently, the Julian calendar is 13 days ahead of the Gregorian one, and Christmas falls on Jan. 7.`

Of course, it was about this time that Christmas -- and all religion -- fell out of favor in newly communist Russia. So Jan. 1 -- a holiday forced on the country just two centuries prior when Czar Peter the Great moved New Year's from Sept. 1 -- became the communist nation's main event. Since the 1991 Soviet collapse, more Russians have started celebrating Christmas, but it has by no means replaced New Year's. According to the ROMIR polling agency, 27 percent of Russians definitely planned to attend Christmas services this year and 18 percent said they might.`

However, only 9 percent said they thought it was appropriate to give presents on Christmas, while 88 percent favored giving them on New Year's. The nationwide poll of 1,500 people had a margin of error of 3 percent. Observing Christmas according to church law would require giving up New Year's as it is celebrated in Russia, and few are ready to do that. Only 12 percent of those polled said they had observed the pre-Christmas fast, while 88 percent did not. The 40-day fast prohibits the consumption of meat, dairy and sometimes fish.`

In recent years, many Russians have taken to celebrating Dec. 25 as well -- not necessarily as a religious holiday, but as the inaugural date of the New Year's celebrations. New Year's can also be celebrated according to the Julian calendar -- on Jan. 13. That holiday, known as old New Year's, marks the end of 20 days of festivities. As for Christmas, the Russian Orthodox Church says it has no plans to move it from Jan. 7.`

``There is no astronomical date of Christ's birth: We don't find any indication of when the Savior was born in the Gospels, nor in early Christian literature. We celebrate not the day, but the event,'' the newspaper Izvestia quoted Metropolitan Kirill, head of external relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, as saying. ``The Russian church does not switch to the Gregorian calendar because this is part of our tradition: People are used to it, and tradition can't be broken by decree.''

consulting center

« All articles
Man and Dating
Where to Find a Date?
Online dating about ND
Finding the best life partner
Why Online Dating is Popular?
Satisfying Relationships
Meet new people!
Advice to avoide scam
International dating

International dating | Russian women | International dates | Dating sites | Dating service | Online dating | Russian brides | Finding a partner online | Matchmaking service | Online personals | Worldwide singles | Online dating website | Meet personals | European dating site | Dating tips

Copyright © 2003-2024 All rights reserved.