Christmas January 7th

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church

A friend of mine asked me why we celebrate Christmas on January 7th, and I didn't know the answer. So, why do we celebrate Christmas on January 7th? Someone told me that the 25th of December is actually the correct date but our church doesn't want to move it so that we are different from the Catholics. Personally, I don't believe that, but it would be nice to know why.

Cheers, (sorry awad)


  • hey Fadi,

    here's what my dad told me...
    a lonnnnnng time ago we all used to have Christmas on Jan 7th (which was the same date on the Julian calender [the one we follow] and the coptic calender)
    then... astrologers and astronomers and all those ppl that study the stars spent a few weeks studying it and such, and realized that the calander isnt following the earth (like its rotation and how long it was created and such) and said that the calender was too fast.
    so what they did was they moved back the Julian calander 14 days (the diff b/w Jan 7 and Dec 25).... the western part of the world agreed to the change and moved dates back on the calender, however those on the east didnt...
    this is why our coptic calander no longer collides with the julian one...

    hope that helps...

    take care and God bless
  • i also too have a question about christmas the birth of CHRIST. is there proof that Christ was born on one of those days. i was talking with one of my servents from church and he siad that he doesn't know. so i was wodering if there is any proof that Christ was born on december 25 or january??

    god bless, René
  • No one knows when Jesus was born, Suggestions (based on speculations) that He was ýborn in the summer (the shepherds were outside at night indicating that the weather ýmaybe warm not cold) among other reasons.ý
    I am not sure which ecumenical council it was, but during one of them, they agreed that ýChristmas would be on the longest day of the year were the sun is out the most and that ýhappened to be Kiahk 29 of the Coptic Calendar. They entrusted the Coptic pope to keep ýthat date and to also notify them of when is Easter as well, since Egyptians were known ýfor their great understanding of how calendars and astronomy works. Kiahk, as the rest of ýthe Coptic calendar, is based on the star (not the earth circling the sun as in the Julian or ýGregorian Calendar) So we stuck with Kiahk 29. ý
    In the 16th Century they realized that the earth does not take 365 day and 6 hours to ýcompletely circle the sun but rather 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and some change in ýseconds. Which means that the year is 11 minutes shorter than originally calculated. To ýfix this error, they moved the calendar back 12 days to adjust (And that is what is called ýthe Gregorian Calendar). ý
    Now the question of who is right and who is wrong is irrelevant for many reasons.ý
    ý1) Depends on which calendar you follow (Coptic Vs. Julian VS. Gregorian) you would ýbe celebrating Christmas differently
    ý2) The idea of "longest day of the year" was relevant at the time and place. So December ýý25th might be the longest day of the year in Turkey, but not necessarily the same in the ýUS or other parts of the world. ý
    ý3) Christ wasn't born on either day, it is just a day set aside for that celebration.ý
    So, it is not a question about Copts being stubborn and not wanting to change (which is ýpartially true), but we just follow a different calendar that does not need adjusting.ý
    I hope this helps.ý
  • so how can kiahk the 29th be the longest day in the year??? i'd say it's the shortest ???
  •    We celebrate Christmas on the 29th of Kiach- which is the 1st of January but every year 29th of kiach kept going each day up until the 7th they said that they were going to leave it but the western side said that they should do it 2 weeks back but we didn’t, so basically they are right for celebrating Christmas on the 25th of December but Easter isn’t by day its by what you believe in that counts

    GB ALL
  • This is a great thread! very useful info pple :D
  • Thanks a lot guys, great answers! ;D
  • A servant told me that christ was born in the spring time... Nobody really knows when it is
  • hey every1 im new but i like this topic very much and i heard that Christ was born on Dec 25 but since our calendars are different we stick wit Jan 7th....thats all i got hope it helps....
  • Very useful thread guys. Just one question, are their any truly definitave dates of celebration traced back to the Bible or did the early Coptic Church set aside days? Thanks. :)
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