Posted by News Express | 7 January 2015 | 3,945 times
Orthodox Christians across the world are celebrating Christmas today, January 7, 2015 – two weeks after the rest of Christendom celebrated the same event.
While most of Christendom celebrates Christmas on December 25, some Orthodox churches, mainly those with Slavic roots, continue to follow the ancient Julian calendar, according to which today is December 25.
Catholics and Protestants generally use the Gregorian calendar, introduced in the 16th century to improve the astronomical precision of timekeeping. Some Orthodox churches use the Gregorian calendar for Christmas but the Julian for marking Easter.
In several parts o the world, Orthodox worshippers last night greeted each other with a traditional Serbian greeting for Christmas Eve, “Badne vece”, or evening of the Yule branch.
In the Serbian capital Belgrade, where most Orthodox people live, believers will today visit the church, light candles, pray and donate money to the poor.
An overnight mass took place at the country’s largest Orthodox church of St. Sava, led by Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic yesterday wished love, peace and harmony in his Christmas message.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia people filled the streets to purchase foodstuff for a traditional Christmas dinner. Also on the occasion, Orthodox Christians adorned their homes with traditional oak branches that symbolised for them the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
•Pieced together from reports in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (USA) and Anadolu Agency (Turkey). Photo courtesy of travelblog.org shows a group of Serbian Orthodox Christians celebrating Christmas.
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