Christians Who Follow Julian Calendar Celebrate Christmas

TAYLOR, Pa. -- For Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar all around the world, January 7 is Christmas Day.

People gathered inside St. George's Orthodox Church in Taylor for a special mass.

"There's a long history of different calendars that I won't get into, but this is also the day that the Christians in the city of Bethlehem in the Holy Land also celebrate Christmas,” said Deacon Michael Azar.

Julian calendar Christmas a public holiday in many parts of central and eastern Europe.

Many Orthodox Christians fast for 40 days prior to Christmas and then have a feast on Christmas Eve.

"We have the holy night supper. We have fish, we have pierogi, we have the cabbage soup and bread and honey we put on ours to be sweet,” said Marie Sekelsky of Taylor.

It is a special time for faith, family, and celebration.

"It's great to come back and celebrate with family and be around where I was born and raised and make all the traditional foods,” said Brenda Orleski of Las Vegas.

"Beautiful, I love it. But it's on a Monday," laughed Joseph Rachko of Old Forge.

Newswatch 16 was also at a Christmas celebration at St. John's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Mayfield where the church was full of the faithful marking the Nativity.

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