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Russian Christmas

Russian Christmas
Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas in accordance with the old Julian calendar. This is the reason why Easter, Christmas and some other religious holidays come to Russia 2 weeks later.

In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new calendar in Europe. That year October 5th became October 15th and was immediately adopted in most European Catholic countries. In Germany the new calendar was introduced in the early 18th century. America and Great Britain used old Julian calendar until 1752.

In Russia the Gregorian calendar was adopted only in 1918 by the decree of the Soviet Government. January 31 that year was followed by February 14.  The Russian church didn't accept the changes and continue to celebrate Christmas on 25 December in the Julian calendar, which is 7 January in the Gregorian calendar. Other Orthodox churches that follow old Julian calendar include the Orthodox churches of Jerusalem, the Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Serbia, Poland and the Greek Old Calendarists.

Even today the Russian church is reluctant to introduce the Gregorian calendar (or the Revised Julian calendar as in Greece and many other Orthodox countries). One common answer is that Apostolic rules do not not allow to celebrate Easter before or during the Jewish Easter (or Pesah). In Europe it happened several times.

But whatever are the reasons the different traditions allow us to see the diversity of cultures. That'll be interesting experience to have a tour of Moscow in winter and see how the Russians celebrate the Orthodox Christmas.

Moscow Curious Facts

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Today Moscow is the biggest city in Europe. The population of Moscow is 10,5 million people.

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Moscow age

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Moscow was founded in 1147. It is one of the oldest cities in Russia.

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What does Moscow mean? This name is much older than the city itself.

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The escalator of Park Pobedy station

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The deepest station of the Moscow metro is "Park Pobedy", 84 meters, the height of a 28 storey building

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Summer 2010 beat all temperature records

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Summer 2010 will be remembered by Muscovites and Moscow guests with abnormal high temperatures.

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Moscow fountain with drinking water

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There are more than 700 fountains in Moscow, but there is only one with drinking water.

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What is the oldest building on the territory of Moscow?

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Do you know when Moscow streets became illuminated?

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Have you heard of such monuments as "Give way to the ducklings",a crow and a fox with melted cheese "Friendship" or Children are the victims of adults' vices?

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Moscow churches

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How many churches Moscow has?

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Moscow McDonalds

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Moscow epithets

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Moscow has acquired a few epithets over its 9 century history.

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Monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius

Monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius
What monument in Moscow has 5 spelling mistakes in the inscription?

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Do you know when smoking was officially banned in Russia?

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Where is the biggest bell in the world?

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Naughty bell

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Tallest buildings of Europe

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Where are the tallest buildings of Europe?

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The oldest house in Moscow

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What is the age of the oldest house of Moscow?

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The Russian Orthodox cross

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Shape and color of Russian domes.

Shape and color of Russian domes.
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Ded Moroz and Santa Claus

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What is the difference between Ded Moroz and Santa Claus?

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