While many Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25, there are some Orthodox Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in January. Orthodox Christians in central and eastern Europe celebrate Christmas on January 7. Celebrations begin on Christmas Eve, which is January 6 in Orthodox countries.
The reason the date varies is that of the difference in calendars. The Catholic-created Gregorian calendar is used by most of the west, such as Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, Italy, and Luxembourg, which observes Christmas on December 25.
However Orthodox countries, such as Russia, Eastern European countries and the Middle East, observe the Julian calendar, which pre-dates the Gregorian calendar, for a number of religious holidays and therefore Christmas is celebrated on January 7.
Preston Majeran along with a few of his family celebrated Orthodox Christmas this year, "Well, Orthodox Christmas is exactly the same as regular Christmas its just due to the fact that Orthodox-run off a different calendar. Its the difference between the Julian calendar or Gregorian calendar, it just falls on a different day. Its a regular Christmas, its a lot of the Eastern Orthodox religions that celebrate it. I celebrate Dutch Christmas too, you put your shoes out on December 5th, and Sinta Clause comes and you just give small gifts and candies in your shoe."
There are many traditions when it comes to the celebration Majeran adds, "In my family, it was perogies, cabbage rolls that's kind of the extent of ours. I'm a Romanian Orthodox."
Ukrainian families celebrate with the Meatless Meal. Advent is a period of fasting and so Christmas Eve supper is meatless and usually consists of 12 courses in honor of Christ's apostles. One Estevan local told us, "We celebrate with food! For my Ukrainian family, the bigger celebration is Christmas Eve. Kutia (wheat), borscht, kolach, beans, pickled herring, perogies with no butter or cream. And other dishes. Tonight (January 7) is also a big feast, with butter and cream! Several types of cabbage rolls, nalysnyky, Turkey, stuffing, ham, sausage, perogies, salads, etc."