Today is January 7 and its Christmas! Yes, it is Christmas day for Orthodox Christians across the world.
Adherents of the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church will be marking their Christmas today, simultaneously as it is observed by Orthodox Christians in Russia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine.
From St. Petersburg to Bethlehem and beyond, it’s a day of celebration and merriment for Orthodox Christians. President Vladimir Putin of Russia is one of those celebrating Christmas today. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was among the worshippers at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Orthodox Christmas – according to the Julian calendar – was also ushered in at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity where the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilos III of Jerusalem was joined by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Under Gregorian calendar, Christmas is observed on December 25th.
President Abdel Fattah al Sisi attended midnight mass with Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, at a newly-built cathedral east of Cairo.
The orthodox churches mark Christmas Day on January 7 and the Armenian Orthodox Church is the last to celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land with the Christmas Eve procession to Bethlehem on January 18 and Christmas Day on January 19