Russian Festivals

Why do we Celebrates Christmas in January?

Russian Christmas

Why do we Celebrates Christmas in January? Russians celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7 because that day Jesus was born. But in the world, Christmas is celebrated on December 25.

Orthodox Christians analyze Christmas as the second most important holiday (after Easter), including fasting from November 28 to January 6. From January 6 to 7, followers should visit the “nightlong vigil” and pray all night long. If they cannot attend the lookout themselves, they watch it on television: some state channels broadcast the ceremony from Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. According to tradition, the spiritual family should also prepare a festive dinner on Christmas Day:

  • Kutia (sweet porridge)
  • Baked meat and fish
  • Kulebyaka (a big pie with cabbage or mushrooms)
  • Fruit desserts (like pasta)

History of Orthodox Christmas

Julius Caesar had founded the Julian calendar in 46 B.C. Because the Catholic pope judged on the adoption of the new calendar, many churches not aligned to the papacy ignored it, such as Protestants and the Eastern Orthodox church. 

In 1922, the patriarch of Constantinople decided to follow the Gregorian calendar for the ceremony of Christmas, but not for Easter, and this law follows by many of the other Orthodox churches.

Russian Christmas

The only Orthodox churches that examine the January 7th date are the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian churches, the Serbs, and the Mount Athos monks in Greece.

Orthodox Christmas in Russia

The Russian government always provides extra days off around the seventh. Can create a very long holiday when the days met with the long New Year’s break. Many Christians yearly celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth. This data helps to the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar, which commonly observes. Some Orthodox Christians visit a church to pray or reflect on inner thoughts in the lead-up to that day.

The tradition of the festival


It is a day of thought, inner feelings, and healing in many eastern European countries. Many Christians fast before January 7, usually excluding meat and dairy products. Foods may include:

  • Lenten bread.
  • Nuts and fresh, dried fruits.
  • Vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and garlic.
  • Mushroom soup.
  • Quiet boiled kidney beans with potatoes, garlic, and seasoning.
  • Bourbaki (small biscuits combined with sauerkraut or poppy seed with honey).
  • Honey.
Russian Christmas

Why do we Celebrates Christmas in January? On the other hand, Christmas Day is a day for eating and enjoying the company of friends and family members. The Christmas meal includes meat and different types of pastries. One traditional Russian Christmas dish bake goose with apples.

The type of food and activity may differ depending on the country’s culture and traditions. In some Orthodox Christian cultures, people walk in a ceremony to seas, rivers, and lakes as part of the ritual on the Orthodox Christmas Day

Public Life

The day is a public holiday on January 7 in Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine. 


Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who many Christians understand is the son of God. The birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. Many Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25, but some hold tradition by observing the January 7.

Russian Christmas


Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Russia, sailors, and children, represents the kind, sound, and giving heart of Christmas. 

  • White cloth is consumed on dinner tables in some countries to represent purity and baby Jesus’s cloth.
  •  Straw may be placed on these tables to signify the simplicity of the place where Jesus was born. 
  • Candles may light to affect the light of Christ and the festive.
  • Christmas meal represents the end of fasting.

Predict the future

Why do we Celebrates Christmas in January? I believe that it was when spirits would run wild – and used it to anticipate their future. The peasants began to guess the weather and the harvest. Young ladies thought of their grooms. And some girls still do it today. Also predicting, some Russians write plans for the next year and compare them with the previous ones. Today also in Russia, many fortune-telling rites involve the whole family. Tarot reading, tea leaf reading, and coffee grounds vision are also shared. Here are some examples of traditional fortune-telling methods conducted at Russian Christmas celebrations:

  • A bowl serves with rice, and a question ask, or a wish made. When you put your hand into the bowl and then take it back out, you must count the number of particles stuck in your hand. An even number says that the wish will come true soon, while an odd number tells it will come true after some time. 
  • Collect as many cups or mugs as there are people present. One of the second objects is put in each cup: a ring, a coin, an onion, some salt, a piece of bread, some sugar, and water. Everyone grabs their turn to choose a cup, keeping their eyes closed. The selected object defines the near future. A ring means a wedding, a coin means wealth, bread means abundance, sugar means happy times, laughter and opinion means tears, salt means difficult times, and a cup of water means life without changes.
Why do we Celeberate Christmas in January?

Traditionally, on Christmas Eve, young women went out and asked the first man they saw what his name was, and the name believes to be their future husband’s name.

Visit Relatives 

Why do we Celebrates Christmas in January? The primary way of celebrating Orthodox Christmas is just visiting (or inviting) relatives with representative gifts. On Christmas, nobody organizes noisy parties, instead just making a simple family dinner. Guests bring some cakes and drink tea. And sometimes some gifts are exchanged – but most likely, they present something for the host’s household: textile, photo albums, or a collection of tea. It is, however, not necessary – usually, tea with sweets is enough.

Christmas decorations

To make Christmas more festive and enjoyable, Russians always dress their homes and apartments in Christmas decorations such as fairy lights, stars, and сutouts in the form of angels and the Russian Christmas tree, one of the main Christmas attributes, adorns the houses of many Russians.

Rahul Modhgil

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