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Meditation 1018
Merry Christmases

by: JT

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Just when you thought the holiday season was over, another bunch of Christmases roll around.

Most people are vaguely familiar with what is popularly called Russian Christmas, (or Ukranian Christmas) celebrated by many, though not all Eastern Orthodox Churches. That falls on 7 January, which is the traditional 25 December thanks to the differences between the Gregorian and Julian Calendars.

We also have Armenian Christmas which most* Armenian churches celebrate on 6 January, a tradition which dates back to the early days of Christianity, before other churches settled on December 25.

The Copts, who still have their own calendar, celebrate on 29 Kiahk, which used to coincide with 25 December, but currently** coincides with 7 January.

"So what?" you might ask.

These people with their own Christmases don't seem to get bent out of shape about what others are doing on their Christmas. We generally don't see them ranting about some war on Christmas; or that some of us treat 25 December as a pagan bacchanal. They don't worry what people words people greet each other with during the holiday season, or that these greeting stop on 2 January. And they are not even concerned that most of us totally ignore their Christmas.

They celebrate their religious holiday amongst themselves They don't demand others participate nor do they demand their day be treated with undue respect by others.

And I respect that.


* the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem currently** celebrates Christmas on 19 January - representing the additional difference between the Gregorian and Julian Calendars.

** Starting in 2100 both the Coptic Church and the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem Christmas will fall a day later - 8 January and 20 January respectively. It's good to know that they have made these long range plans - neither church is expecting an apocalypse this century.