Although most people believe that Christmas is over because it was on December 25th, 2015, there are many Christians in the world celebrating Christmas on January 7th, 2016. The reason for this is Orthodox Churches celebrate the holiday according to the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar, which is why Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th.
Some of the churches that celebrate Christmas on January 7th are Russian, Ukrainian, and Serbian Orthodox. A lot of Orthodox Christians prepare for Christmas by having a 40 day fast. These people don’t eat meat for the 40 days before January 7th. They think this helps them be more holy. The traditional Christmas meal marks the end of the fast. January 7th is a day to enjoy and celebrate being with your family and friends. Food is very important on this day. Some of the popular foods are mushroom soup, kidney beans with potatoes, small biscuits with sauerkraut (bobalki), honey, and baked cod. Janie Rodavich, a student, said, “The day of Serbian Christmas, my dad goes to his Aunt’s house and they eat a traditional Christmas dinner.”
Some of the symbols are Saint Nicholas, who represents the kind and giving spirit of Christmas, white cloth on tables to represent purity, and straw to represent the simple place where Jesus was born. Buying and giving gifts is not very important with Orthodox Christmas. January 7th is a public holiday in some countries such as, Serbia, Russia, Egypt, and Ukraine. It is not a national holiday in the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom.