Orthodox New Year: January 14
Orthodox New Year is a religious observance for Orthodox Christians all over the world.
Orthodox New Year is also known as Old New Year. The New Year falls on January 1 on the old Julian calendar, corresponding to January 14 on the modern Gregorian calendar, and it will remain as such until 2100. Orthodox Christians follow the Julian calendar that was the effective calendar before the appearance of the Gregorian calendar edited by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.
History of Orthodox New Year
Julius Cesar introduced the Julian calendar as a reform to the Roman calendar in 46 BC. This was the widely accepted calendar until the twentieth century, when it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Some countries (mostly Roman Catholic countries) immediately adopted the new calendar, while others took some time to adopt it. Orthodox Churches nowadays use a revised Julian calendar to calculate the dates of their main celebrations.
Celebrations of New Year by the Orthodox countries are mainly marked by religious services dedicated to the circumcision of Jesus Christ, while on the more secular side, people celebrate New Year in the same fashion as everywhere else in the world. The Orthodox Church always tries to set a tone of moderation to New Year celebrations since these celebrations still fall under the days of Christmas season.
Orthodox New Year Traditions, Customs and Activities
As in many other countries, even though the date changes, the spirit of New Year is the same. It is a time when Orthodox countries look back on the year that ended and look with hope to the New Year that is about to start. It is a day that is spent among family and friends. Religious services are attended to celebrate the feast of the circumcision of Jesus. Orthodox churches organize parties and dinners for the entire congregation. Some churches use these dinners to promote charity events and gather funds for projects to start during the New Year.
In the ex-Russian republics, it is believed that on this day all their problems from the previous year will leave them with success arriving at their door during the New Year. In Orthodox Greece and Russia, the secular New Year date follows the Gregorian calendar, and the date of January 14 is mainly for religious celebrations. Even so, there are fireworks on this date as well as gatherings of family and friends around the table to enjoy a peaceful meal.