Orthodox New Year, commonly known as Old New Year, kicks off a fresh year on Jan. 14 as per the Julian calendar. The day is largely observed in eastern European countries and Russia. Some areas which follow the Orthodox Church continue to follow the old calendar.

While the Russian government has not marked Orthodox New Year as a national holiday, it is still widely celebrated. More than 200 million Christians around the globe are linked to the Orthodox churches, BBC News reported.

Orthodox New Year traditions

Individuals across the world who celebrate the Orthodox New Year usually "spend the day reflecting on the previous year and think about meaningful resolutions for the New Year," according to Western Kentucky University.

The day is also marked by plenty of social gatherings and parties in modern times. Restaurants, clubs, and lounges are usually completely booked on the day. People traditionally enjoy music, elaborate meals, fireworks, and drinks, as per National Today.

In northern Macedonia, families traditionally make pita bread and hide a coin inside one of them. The individual who ends up finding a coin in their bread is believed to be blessed with good fortune, the outlet added.

History Of Orthodox New Year

The Orthodox New Year first came into existence after the creation of the Gregorian calendar. Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the 10 days following Oct. 4 in 1582 and said that the next day would now be Oct. 15. The skip can still be seen in most digital calendars.

The Gregorian calendar slowly gained popularity and was officially adopted by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1918. The calendars were adjusted by 1923, which marked the Orthodox New Year.

Just like the Orthodox New Year, the dates for Orthodox Christmas have also been adjusted. It is celebrated on Jan. 7 and is usually marked with the end of a 40-day fast. During this time, many Orthodox Christians don't consume items like meat, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil.

Large religious processions and cooking up feasts are also traditional ways to mark Orthodox Christmas.

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