If your church still follows the Julian calendar, like most Eastern Orthodox churches do, you will be celebrating today as Christmas Day.
While Brandonites commonly refer to it as “Ukrainian” Christmas, the spread of the Eastern Orthodox church reaches from Russia to Greece.
Although hardly anyone still uses the obsolete Julian calendar for their day-to-day life, it’s still important for some religious liturgical and ceremonial purposes.
The days, months and years that are nearly universal now are calculated using the Gregorian calendar, which was a 1582 fix to the Julian, correcting a 0.002 per cent error that had, over the centuries, left it 10 days behind.
If you check your wall calendars, you’ll note that the spread has now widened to 13 days.
It would be chaos to try to co-ordinate two calendars if people conducted their business and private lives by them, but when it comes to religious holidays, there are only a few conflicts with secular life. Probably, there are people who are forced to take a vacation day today, since statutory holidays are based on the civil calendar.
But there are also perks — Christmas today is free of most of the hullabaloo from last month, giving a quieter, more reflective air to the season.
And we’re sure there are a few blended families who are enjoying Christmas No. 2 today.
Whatever the case may be, we’re pleased to wish you “z Rizdvom Khrystovym.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 7, 2014