Christmas December 25th (Interesting Facts)

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Very interesting link regarding the Coptic Church and the dates of Christmas.

Many of us know that the reason for the difference in celebrating Christmas between the Western and Eastern churches was due to the change between the Gregorian and Julian calendars. But did you know that........

1. Until 1582 A.D. the Coptic Orthodox Church use to celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

2. Prior to the 4th century AD (so until the 3rd Century AD), the Coptic Church use to celebrate Christmas on May 20th.

3. The Greek Orthodox Church until 1923 was with the old calendar and Christmas was celebrated on January 6th. In 1923 the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece started the use of the New Calendar.

4. Although the Greek Orthodox Church in the U.S. has adapted to the western date for Christmas. The Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem still celebrates Christmas on January 7th.

5. The same difference in calendar also accounts for the difference in celebration of the Epiphany (the Epiphany use to be celebrated on Jan 6th).

So how do you guys like Christmas on January 7th?

Being raised in the states I felt (to a small degree) isolated celebrating Christmas on this date growing up. Especially because January 7th doesn't fall within "Christmas Break" and the holiday season is basically over. Consequently most of us are either working or going to school on January 7th, which takes away from "time-off" and "family gatherings" that are critical for celebrating the holidays.

In some respects I wish all Christians could celebrate Christmas on the same day, however I must say that it's also neat being unique.

What do you guys think?

Mare information about Coptic Christmas can be found here:


  • I also feel isolated celebrating Christmas on the 7th of January here in Australia.
    I agree with your notion of all Christians celebrating Christmas on the same day and I would love if the Coptic Church changed to the new calendar like the Greeks. Many of my friends at church also feel the same way. If the Coptic Church could integrate a little to the western culture it wouldn't be so painful but rather beneficial for the Copts in the western world. ;D ;D ;D That's how I feel anyway

    God Bless
    Pray for me the sinner.
  • hi! i personally don't see the difference between celebrating Christmas Dec. 25 or Jn. 7. I mean common, does it make any difference what day Christmas is celebrated. But i would really like everybody to have one day.
  • I understand that it would be nice if we all celebrated on the same day, but, I think that it is nice to be special and different than everyone else (although it may be difficult at times). We wouldn't really be "orthodox" if we modernized/westernized, would we? We have to hold on to our roots in order to maintain Coptic Orthodoxy. If you think about it, it's kind of a shame that practically no Coptic can speak Coptic fluently (and by fluent I don't mean the deacons that know certain words by heart).

    Thanks for sharing that info fhhanna. I've actully been wondering about that stuff for a long time and found it very interesting. Please share other triva that relates to our culture/religion.
  • I agree with all of you!!! Christmas shoud be a time of Unity, but we should hold on to our traditions!! So what does that mean?...

    Celebrating Christmas should not be about what day you celebrate it on, instead it should be a joyous time where you remember God's fulfillment of the Old Testament Prophecies with His infinite Love for us.

    It is easy to get distracted with commercialised ideas on Christmas (Most businesses use Christmas as a chance to attract customers and have no interest in the true value of Our Lord's Birth).

    Did you know that the modern image of 'Santa Claus' (even though based on St. Nicholas) was invented by Coca Cola?

    All of the images that we see during Christmas time (especially in the Western World), are of course very joyful, and remind us of 'giving' and sometimes we even see Christian images of the nativity such as mangers!!!
    However, most of us are actually taken away from and forget the value of Christmas. We do not FEEL God's love for us, nor the TRUE MIRACLE that is Christmas!

    Their are advantages to having Christmas on a separate day, including: Feeling special!

    and Their are advantages to having a UNIFIED day, including: Feeling unity!

    But their are also advantages to celebrating Christmas with your family and Church (regardless of the date!). In my opinion, these are the most important advantages!

    My earlier comment was that UNITY is always a great idea, but it DOESN'T MATTER who's date is used (it doesn't matter who's right or who's wrong!!). Sometimes it appears easier for the Coptic Orthodox Church to change (since it's numbers are smaller). What is really important to me is that EACH person is not too distracted by thoughts on dates and times, because our aim for Christmas is to set a side A DAY when we remember the love of our God who loved the world that he sent us His only Son to save us from our sins!

    What would be even better of course is if we NEVER forgot the Love of God, and the closer we are to God, the more we appreciate Christmas (whenever it is!)

    We should worry about How we celebrate Christmas before we worry about When we celebrate Christmas!

    Just a quick point to think about: why do we seem to worry more about the difference in the date of Christmas than the date of Easter?

    Please pray for my weakness...
    God Bless you all!
  • quick fact...
    "Orthodox" comes from ortho- meaning straight and -dox meaning dogma or faith..
    if we change, we wouldn't really be orthodox now would we? :)
    also, the calculations that were made that decided on Jan. 7 as being our Christmas takes up books worth of information and technically should move one day ahead every 200oddsomething years... for practical purposes, it was set to Jan. 7 and (as far as i know) there are no intentions to ever change it.
  • high five for you mary
  • Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

    I feel that i need to explain a few things... :D

    Firstly, i would like to clarify that as i have said above, "Christmas shoud be a time of Unity, but we should hold on to our traditions!!", i am happy to CELEBRATE Christmas (regardless of date) because to me it is a remembrance of God's Love for us!. :)

    Secondly! Ortho-dox means the straight faith or dogma NOTHING TO DO WITH CHANGING DATES! So long as our Belief remains STRAIGHT the date is NOT SO IMPORTANT! In fact, if you read "ffhanna's" interesting statistics you will note that: "Prior to the 4th century AD (so until the 3rd Century AD), the Coptic Church use to celebrate Christmas on May 20th" What happened is the Church ALL over the world agreed that it would be better to celebrate on a common date, so they decided on the 25th December (Julian Calendar) = 29th Kiahk (Coptic Calendar).

    - The Coptic Orthodox Church, would not have changed if it felt that it was un-orthodox! :)

    (the link 'ffhanna' suggested at the beginning is quite useful - check it out if you haven't already:)

    As far as the date being SET to 7 January, i do not know if this is true, but even that would be Changing the date from the traditional 29th of Kiahk...

    Please let me make it clear... I do not object to 7th January (in fact i previously wrote that because of the commercialization on the 25th December, the 7th January helps us to really feel that special love and joy away from all the distractions!) :)

    But i also point out that unity would be nice! (to me it doesn't matter which church changes or if they both change to a new common date!!).

    Even if No Church Changes!!! Let us not distract or dissapoint ourselves with the issue of the date, but let us contemplate on the TRUE meaning of Christmas (whenever it is!). ;)

    Please pray for my weakness,
    God Bless You all...

  • I guess as long as we know the purpose of our celebration and we don’t get caught up with the western ideas (santa, Christmas trees, candy canes, Rudolf, ect.) it doesn’t really make a difference when we celebrate the birth of Christ. Although I must say it does feel good to celebrate on a different date and gives a feeling of individuality from the rest of the world.
    God Bless You All
  • Dear Mark!

    That is Exactly the right attitude to have ;D, i couldn't agree with you more! Well done! ;)

    God Bless you!
  • ah! but don't forget that with every westernized idea comes a forgotten true symbolism...
    except the candy cane.. that one was a stretch.
  • Yes once again you are correct Mary, there is alot of symbolism. I dont think Rudolf has symbolism; that I know of anyway… regardless, people in the western world don’t know about the symbolism. They just see a fat man who gives out presents and candy. The greatest proof of this is a person at my school who is one of those fake Jewish people that is just Jewish by name. Anyway, they celebrate Christmas, and when I told them that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus they laughed and thought I was joking. That’s just sad…
  • whoa....that is this is what Christmas has come down to?
  • to some... but to hopefully not all. good point with rudolph... i don't think pink/red noses really have anything to do with christmas.. flying or not.. reindeer definetly weren't in the manger where Christ was born.. and if they were.. it doesn't matter.
    look at me.. i'm making a whole new topic arguing against reindeer..hehehe :) we all need prayer to realize the truth that's always been in front of our eyes.
  • lol, deer taste good. Anyway, i don't know what it’s coming down to. It’s become something commercial and an excuse to have sales at department stores to most of the western world. All we can do is hold fast to our traditions and that will ensure we don’t follow this path.
  • Very true Mark. May God keep us in His path towards the Greatest Love of All.

    [coptic]To te roan af moh en rashi, owoh penlas khen oo theleel, je Penchois Isos Pi ekhristos, af toanf evol khen nee ethmoa oot[/coptic],
  • Whether or not Christmas is commercial or not, is a matter of how families and households celebrate it.

    There are many orthodox families who celebrate Christmas on the 7th that also buy into your point of commercialism and believe in santa clause, and have Christmas stockings, so really that argument is irrelevent.

    Additionally ORTHODOX is about NOT changing our spiritual beliefs or DOGMA (maybe you should look up what DOGMA means).

    If you want to start talking about physical customs then you're really no different that Muslims or Jews.

    Additionally, if you want to talk about ORTHODOX (As if I don't know what I'm talking about), then why did we change after 1500 years of celebrating it on the 25th? Or even better why did we change from celebrating it from the original date in May?

    Just try to be more factual in your terms, Mary, when you want to talk about the word Orthodox and when you try to throw harsh criticisms out to people.
  • Nice points Minrew.

    This wasn't meant to be a post for attacking others beliefs in orthodox views. However, I DO admire the passion many of you have for traditions.

  • Fhhanna, can you please post your sources of these dates. I can’t understand why Christmas was ever celebrated in May. It is well known Jesus lived to be 33 1/3 years old. He was crucified some time in April (after Passover). So he must have been born in either December or January. I can’t conceive where May came from… Thanks.

    God Bless You

    And this is from a Coptic website, in case you think I'm trying to make stuff up.
  • Let me know what you think after you're done reading it.

  • And in case you didn't know.... There are talks going on to reconcile the dates of the churches back to the 25th and eventually for the Western church to change their Easter dates to our calendar.

    Additionally, although the point was mentioned about Christmas adding a day for every x number of years. This point is true, however, Pope Shenoudah has mentioned that we will not be adding days Christmas going forward (Regarless if Christmas is ever changed to the Western calendar or not).

  • lol, I didn’t thing you were “making stuff up”.

    I’ve read it, but it doesn’t answer my question. How did they fathom that Jesus was born in May, it doesn’t work out mathematically…
  • ur right fhhanna. Christmas this year and for the next x amount of years is supposed to be on Jan 6 i think. but because in Egypt they finnaly got the day recognized and off from work and school, the Pope wont change it because the rulers of egypt will try to confuse the whole situation or something like that.
  • DID U GUYS KNOW THAT POPE KYRILLOS THE SIXTH WAS GOING TO MAKE AN AGREEMENT WITH ALL THE CHURCHES OF THE WORLD AND SIGN PAPERS FOR CHRISTMAS TO BE ON THE 6TH OF JANUARY?? if u guys want more info on that let me kno... and if ur wondering y that never happened, its because sum church refused on the agreement and led other churches to back it up, therefore the date never got changed.....

    GOD BLESS ALL! :-*
  • yeah id like more info on that, that'll be aswome, thnx

    ( :-* <<--- does any1 else think this face looks like its hyperventelating??)
  • hey Magnoona4lyf now thats great stuff i'd also lik to no more bout that ok if its no trouble.. ok
  • HEY! No prob see H.H Pope Kyrillos the sixth saw that @ that time too many churches from all over the world we're fueding over the real Christmas date...The Pope decided to hold a confrence between the churches to get them to sign papers stating that the whole entire world would celebrate Christams on the 6th of every close as they were, one of the churches dissagreed and called H.H the pope crazy and made problems among other churches stating that there is no reason why they should follow the "orthodox"Christmas. Therefore, to everyones great disappointment they couldn't agree on the date and the idea was cancled, till now no one has ever attempted to change the date again, that was the popes first andmost likely last attempt to change the Chrsitmas date! May his holy blessings be with us!

    GOD BLESS ALL! :-*
  • The pope was asked this question and he said that you can have the 25th as a social one,and the 7th as a church one. and he also said that we dont go by that calender, but that we go by the Coptic one, which is the 29th of kiahk.
  • Wow, thats really interesting, I never knew that...thanx SisterinChrist ;)... and acually thats very good cuz then u could kinda celebrate Christmas with ur friends and family on the 25th and then the 7th is kinda like u and God alone...kewl :D

    GOD BLESS ALL! :-*

  • ya know, why don't the churches worldwide decide on a date like Jan 1st or Dec 31st because no one celebrates christmas on that day (as far as i know). And the january one would sybolize jesus birth as a fresh start.
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