Orthodox New Year is an annual holiday that falls on January 14th. In another way, it is often called the Old New Year. This holiday is common in Russia and Eastern Europe, where the Orthodox faith plays a fundamental role.
In fact, the Orthodox New Year holiday is the New Year, which we celebrate on January 1st. However, it is celebrated not according to the Gregorian, but according to the Julian calendar, which is no longer used. Therefore, we are seeing a date shift exactly two weeks ahead.
The Julian calendar was developed by Greek scientists and established by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. It remained unchanged until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII approved the Gregorian calendar, which is still used in most countries of the world.
The traditions of celebrating the Orthodox New Year vary significantly depending on the country and the established family foundations. Many, for example, celebrate it in a cozy homely atmosphere, gathering all their relatives at the same table.
In North Macedonia, it is customary to gather around their homes on this day and set the table, it is imperative to make a big fire. Fireworks rumble through the cities and various festive events are held, folk compositions are played. There is a tradition in families: on the festive table there is homemade pita bread, inside of which they put a coin. It is believed that luck will smile in the New Year to those who get a coin in a portion of pita bread.
- The Old New Year is a folk holiday supported by the church, but it is not recognized as official at the state level.
- It is customary to remove the Christmas tree after January 14, but not before.
- According to Slavic traditions, fortune-telling rituals are performed on the night before the Old New Year, and rich porridge is always served for breakfast in the morning.
How to celebrate
Be sure to gather family and friends around the festive table. Attend festivals and holiday events. Organize your own fun competitions.
Everyone celebrates the Orthodox New Year in their own way, so don’t forget your family traditions and rituals on this day.
When is Orthodox New Year celebrated in 2023?
Orthodox New Year is observed on January 14 each year.