It is New Year for most of us, but some countries, including Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, have commenced their Christmas celebrations on January 7 Friday. These celebrations took place amid the concern of Covid-19 looming over. The government imposed restrictions, but neither Covid-19 nor restrictions worried visitors, who flocked to the churches.
The Russian Orthodox Church, which witnessed the most considerable number of worshipers, urged people to wear masks. Still, the live broadcast at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral showed that a maximum number of people were not wearing masks. Some of the visitors were without masks, while some were not covering their noses from the mask.
Although, Russia witnessed a considerable surge in Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The country reported nearly 15,000 cases on Thursday. Now, the country’s health authorities have been raised concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19 as health minister, Mikhail Murashko, had identified the Omicron case in people who have not travelled outside Russia.
People visited the church on January 7 to worship Lord and celebrate Christmas because Orthodox Christians in some countries celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar, which runs 13 days behind the Georgian calendar, followed by the rest of the world.
The Julian calendar’s revised version was released, in 1923 which brought Christmas’s date to December 25, in line with the Georgian calendar. Some countries with Orthodox Christians updated the calendar.
Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, Moldova and Montenegro follow the Julian calendar. However, other countries, including Greece, Cyprus and Romania, follow the revised Julian calendar.
Most Christians start the Christmas celebration after observing 40 days fast. They do not consume meat and dairy foods for that period. However, different countries celebrate Christmas with different traditions, yet they all include feasts and church service.