Author Topic: What Calendar?  (Read 3382 times)

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Offline Athanasios

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What Calendar?
« on: December 19, 2007, 07:52:57 PM »
Hello,

What Calendar do the Oriental Orthodox use and why? Julian, Revised Julian, Gregorian, Old, New, other, etc.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 08:39:37 PM »
The Armenians in Jerusalem are on the Old Calendar.  Thus, they will be celebrating Christmas on January 19, which is 13 days after January 6, which is Armenian Christmas.  Armenians in the U.S. and I think the rest of the New World have the New Calendar.  The Copts, and I'm pretty sure the Ethiopians, are on the Old Calendar.  I'm not sure about the Syriac Church.

Offline Athanasios

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2007, 08:46:51 PM »
Hello,

Thanks for the reply.

That brings up another interesting question - for all Orthodox actually. Why do some celebrate Christmas at a later date. For example, on the New Calendar, some celebrate on December 25 (the date I am used to) and some celebrate on January 6 (the date of the Epiphany on my calendar) - this is on the same calendar, not an Old/New Calendar difference. On the Old Calendar, some celebrate on January 7 (which corresponds to December 25) and some celebrate on January 19 (which corresponds to January 6). Why is this?


P.S. - I hope my maze of dates makes sense. :-[
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2007, 08:50:21 PM »
Armenians are the only ones who celebrate it on January 6 still (January 19 on the Old).  The East originally kept Epiphany and Christmas together but only later separated them to be one with the Western practice. The Armenians, for whatever reason, never changed this ancient custom.
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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007, 12:43:35 AM »
The Armenians are cool.  8)
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Offline Salpy

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 10:08:49 PM »
The Armenians are cool.  8)

Why, thank you!   ;D

And the Copts are absolutely awesome!

Offline stanley123

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 10:21:33 PM »
Armenians are the only ones who celebrate it on January 6 still (January 19 on the Old).  The East originally kept Epiphany and Christmas together but only later separated them to be one with the Western practice. The Armenians, for whatever reason, never changed this ancient custom.
the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7, in accordance with the Julian calendar.

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 10:29:18 PM »
No, they celebrate it on Dec. 25, which corresponds to Jan. 7 on the Gregorian calendar. The issue here is not a question of semantics as calendar issues usually are (and yes, the OCs disagree with me here) but that the Armenians actually celebrate on a different day. It wouldn't matter if they used the Gregorian calendar; they would still celebrate Christmas at a different time from the rest of the Orthodox world.
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Offline stanley123

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 10:47:49 PM »
No, they celebrate it on Dec. 25, which corresponds to Jan. 7 on the Gregorian calendar. The issue here is not a question of semantics as calendar issues usually are (and yes, the OCs disagree with me here) but that the Armenians actually celebrate on a different day. It wouldn't matter if they used the Gregorian calendar; they would still celebrate Christmas at a different time from the rest of the Orthodox world.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2007, 01:00:19 AM »
The way I heard it, January 6 was an early Christian holiday which celebrated three events:  The Transfiguration, the Baptism of Christ and the Visit of the Wise Men.  I think the idea was to celebrate Christ's divinity, and these three events emphasized His divinity.

Then, over time, the celebration of Christ's Birth was added to January 6, making it four events that were celebrated on that date.  Previous to that, I don't think His Birth was celebrated.

Then at some point, (perhaps the fourth century?) the celebrations were split up and put on different dates.  Transfiguration was moved to the summer.  Christ's Birth was moved to December 25, by everyone but the Armenians.  In the West, the celebration of the Wise Men's visit was kept on January 6, and in the East the celebration of Christ's Baptism was kept on January 6.  (Did the West put the Baptism on another date?  In the East, do we have a date for the Wise Men?)

Anyway, the Armenians are the only ones to keep the tradition of having more than one event celebrated on January 6.

This is just something I have heard.  I don't have any citations for it, but it makes sense.  Does anyone know of anything in writing about it?

Offline Athanasios

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2007, 01:07:15 AM »
Hello,

The way I heard it, January 6 was an early Christian holiday which celebrated three events:  The Transfiguration, the Baptism of Christ and the Visit of the Wise Men.  I think the idea was to celebrate Christ's divinity, and these three events emphasized His divinity.

I would have guessed that these three feasts all have the common theme of manifestations of God.


In the West, the celebration of the Wise Men's visit was kept on January 6, and in the East the celebration of Christ's Baptism was kept on January 6.  (Did the West put the Baptism on another date?  In the East, do we have a date for the Wise Men?)

Yes, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a movable feast that takes place after Epiphany.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2007, 01:15:35 AM »
O.K.  I just found this thread by Ghazar that explains the visit of the Wise Men was kept on the same date as Christ's birth in the East, and the Baptism was moved to after Epiphany in the West, like Athanasios said:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7897.html

I just learned something.  Cool.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2007, 01:19:34 AM by Salpy »

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2007, 01:21:34 AM »
In the West, the celebration of the Wise Men's visit was kept on January 6, and in the East the celebration of Christ's Baptism was kept on January 6.  (Did the West put the Baptism on another date?  In the East, do we have a date for the Wise Men?)

In the RCC, the Baptism of the Lord feast is celebrated between the 7th and 13th of January.  Before Vatican II, it was fixed on the 13th.

Hmmmm, I always thought the Epiphany and Theophany were on the 6th in the East though.  I cannot believe I forgot last nativity already.
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Offline Didymus

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2007, 08:36:05 AM »
The Armenians are cool.  8)

Agreed! Don't you just love those awesome hats of their bishops?

Athanasios, the Copts actually use the Coptic calendar which you can learn about on Wikipedia if you search for it. It dates years from the year of the martyrs and has it's New Year on September 11 or 12 in leap years. Coptic Christmas actually falls on the 8th this year due to the extra leap day but in order to retain unity with the rest of Orthodoxy the 7th is observed as well as the 8th! (Why waste a good reason for a holiday?) The Ethiopian calendar is similar but has different names for months and days. I believed the Armenians are generally on the Julian calendar as are the Syrians and Indians in their home lands.

Outside their home lands various OO Churches may be on the New Julian Calendar locally or in wide areas depending on specific situations.
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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: What Calendar?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2008, 01:50:14 PM »
Ethiopia still celebrates on Jan 6-7
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