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Orthodox religions set to celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7

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  • Rev Fr John Brian
    http://insidetoronto.com/news/Villager/article/34653 Orthodox religions set to celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 January 3, 2008 11:06 AM They may not have eight
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2008
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      http://insidetoronto.com/news/Villager/article/34653


      Orthodox religions set to celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7



      January 3, 2008 11:06 AM


      They may not have eight nights of light, but they do have 12 meatless meals.


      Dec. 25 is long gone, but Ukrainians and many other Eastern Christian
      Orthodox churches including Serbian, Greek, Russian, Armenian and Polish, to
      name a few, have yet to celebrate their Christmas. It takes place Jan. 7.


      This dates back to the eighth century BC. According to the Roman calendar,
      the year began on March 1 and had only 10 months - December being the 10th
      month. When eventually Januarius and Februarius were added, the year then
      began in January. The problem was, the year was only 355 days long so the
      seasons and the calendar continued to lose their correct relationship over
      time.


      Ukrainian Christmas centres on the Christmas Eve feast called Sviata Vechera
      or the "Holy Supper."


      The meal consists of 12 meatless dishes. The courses are meatless because
      there is a period of fasting required until Christmas Day.


      The first dish which is very traditional, consists of wheat mixed with honey
      and raisins. The recipes differ between regions of Ukraine, however some
      examples are beets with mushrooms, cooked beans, perogies, fried fish and
      cabbage rolls. To begin the meal, a prayer is said and the traditional
      Christmas greeting: "Khristos rodyvsya!" (Christ is born).


      Christmas may be a religious event and quite often quiet, but Malanka, the
      Ukrainian New Year's Eve provides an opportunity to party. It is not unusual
      for professional businessmen's clubs or youth organizations to sponsor a
      banquet and dance. It is usually celebrated on the Saturday closest to Jan.
      14.


      Ukrainian Christmas celebrations technically end on Jan. 19.



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