Today is Christmas Day for those of Russian Orthodox faith. It is a day of celebration and family time that is every bit as important and special as the Christmas Day the Western World celebrates. Vlad’s family only celebrates the holiday on January 7, and I have always loved it – even if I am still Christmas shopping on January 5 and facing a mound of wrapping on the morning of the 7th.
I love learning about the customs and practices of other culture and religions, so finding out why this happened was a priority when Vlad and I started dating – this was somewhere in between the time of the dinosaurs and the iPad. Not saying exactly when, but if you ask my son, it was closer to the dinosaurs…
The reason Christmas is celebrated on this day has nothing to do with the Feast of the Epiphany, as many people may think. It’s a very simple reason – the Russian Orthodox church did not change their calendar from Julian to Gregorian when the rest of the world did. That means the church calendar is 13 days behind ours at this present time. Pretty cool information, isn’t it?
There are other benefits as well – the ability to access all the year-end sales in the stores for Christmas presents springs to mind. It’s a great excuse for not taking your tree and decorations down until the second weekend in January. Spreading the holidays out a bit more keeps the Christmas spirit going another couple of weeks. Our son also got to exxperience every child’s dream – two full Christmases with all the presents and magic intact. Having both Santa Claus and Dyed Moroz (Grandfather Frost) deliver presents under the tree is a special bonus that I wish I had as a child. No – they’re not the same magical beings – Dyed Moroz wears white and comes in the front door – not down the chimney, but they’re the same in that he also leaves nice presents.
So, today will be filled with wrapping presents and cooking the dessert for tonight’s dinner celebration at my mother-in-law’s house. There will be good food, good friends and family, and a lot of Christmas spirit. Once again.
C Рождеством Христовым!