Christians in the New year well and not dull – how to combine holidays and post

New year, long weekend, guests and a Christmas tree with kids, Christmas fairs, which fall on the strict time of fasting in people around the holidays, almost Christmas mood, but that’s not Christmas yet. How the Orthodox fit into this overall fun, without losing something that brings post – a real joy at Christmas?


  • New year: be noted so that the next day any remorse
  • When and how do we celebrate the New Year?
  • Skates, guests, New year, when to fast?
  • Why is the New year and failed bierkowice
  • “Christ was not born to people of broken spear”

Not to turn his ascetic works in the problem for everyone else
Archpriest Theodore Borodin

Archpriest Theodore Borodin

I think that the situation with the New year brings us back to the words of Christ: “You pastasa pomai your head, and your face of any” (Matt. 6:17), which in those days was a sign of joy and fun. That is, the Lord tells us that fasting should bring forth in us the dullness of the face, and become a real joy for us.

This test, which almost all Orthodox people in the Church are held annually – a very good reason to work hard to ensure that his ascetic works are not to turn into a problem for everyone else. Post – it tool. As one ancient Saint, on the market nor a craftsman trying to sell a product, don’t brag about what his good, beautiful and very sharp-edged tools. He boasts a product that is made using these tools. The Lord awaits from us is not fasting as such, but the result, and this result, let there be joy.

In the end, any good works, including the post, we need to feel the joy of communication with God, which shall bring forth the joy of communicating with others.

And then begins the work: how we do it. All different.

I remember how impressed me a story from an ancient Patericon, when a famous ascetic monks came and asked: “Abba, what do you do if you saw a brother who falls asleep in worship?” He said, “I’ll put his head on her knees.” The questioners expect the ascetic in such a situation, reprimanded the sleeping, give him everything. And the elder says that first we need to show love. I think, in the Church of Abba would not allow himself to doze ever. Therefore, in the lives of many saints says that the ascetic was strict with himself and indulgent to one’s neighbor.

Here in the post especially good to learn to show love especially in the situation that we have been given, including to those who celebrates New year for all Soviet secular “canons” who does not know the joys of Church life. What do we Christians feel? Joy, because Christ came into our lives and why we are well, and not Vice versa, sadly. And so the New year should be carried out accordingly. In the end, even without violating the Charter of a post about food, you can arrange your family holiday.


The Church is well able to combine a holiday even with strict fasting, say, the beheading of St. John the Baptist and Krestovozdvizhenie. Although, of course, we would like to calendar the problem was somehow solved.

Christians should always be joyful
Archpriest Alexander Ilyashenko

Archpriest Alexander Ilyashenko

New year in Soviet times, became one of the most popular holidays not only the significance of the new year. This is caused by the fact that after the revolution the Church was separated from the state, many churches were closed and religious holidays believers could be noted only in the narrowest circle. In addition, in early 1918, the Soviet government adopted a decree on the transition to the Gregorian calendar, while the Church retained the Julian calendar in which Christmas is celebrated on 25th of December and New year, as he expected, on 1 January, i.e. at Christmas, when the post no. Calendar reform has led to the fact that the New year was celebrated before Christmas, as December 25 by the old calendar corresponds to January 7 on the new.

The Julian calendar was introduced in Ancient Rome under Julius Caesar, so he bears his name. The Holy fathers of the First Ecumenical Council adopted the calendar as a very useful tool for calculating the date of Easter. Gregorian calendar adopted in 1582 in Rome under Gregory. Gregorian calendar the Julian rather. But I must say that he and the other calendar are approximate, their duration differs from the duration of the tropical year, which is measured with high accuracy using the delicate and time-consuming astronomical measurements.

The duration of the Gregorian calendar its creators closer to the length of the tropical year, and the patristic tradition of the alienated. The Russian Orthodox Church and several other Orthodox Churches, including Georgian and Serbian, have kept this centuries-old tradition, and we the date of Easter calculated the same way as did the ancient fathers.

The entire Western world is entirely shifted to the Gregorian calendar, and the date of Easter they expect from him. But this contradicts thousands of years of tradition and regulations of the First Ecumenical Council, which approved the calculation of the Paschal on the basis of the Julian calendar.

In the 20-ies of XX century there were the so-called combined calendar: Easter and other movable feasts of the Church year count and celebrate according to the Julian calendar, and fixed – according to the new calendar, the Gregorian. This calendar has a number of advantages, for example, Christmas is celebrated on December 25, and it again is getting before the New year and rightfully precedes it again. Some Orthodox Churches have switched to this combined calendar. And part including Russia retained the Julian calendar, not changing it.

The calendar issue is one of the most intractable, because it applies to almost everyone. If you offer to follow the example of the Orthodox Churches celebrate holidays fixed according to the Gregorian calendar, the inevitable storm of protests. We all used to live according to the Gregorian calendar, not Julian. Ask anyone: when Christmas, and the answer will be that on January 7, not December 25. Or give any other holiday stationary circle, for example, the Transformation – I will answer that on 19 August, not the 6th. It is psychologically very difficult to accept the calendar reform, the moment people to this totally unprepared.

Below are possible changes, people prepare for them need a long time calmly and seriously that was not followed by shocks. To ensure that every open and sympathetic to the different proposals could have something deeply to perceive, to be included in the school curriculum, in courses of history, geography, astronomy, a calendar outlining the problems that all knew from childhood – there is a problem and you need to look for the solution. Maybe the solution is already found, and maybe, over time, will be found a more perfect solution of this problem.

The fact that the calendar problem is acutely inevitably face our not so distant descendants. In the Gregorian calendar, as well as in the Julian calendar, every fourth year, which is evenly divided by 4 is a leap year it has 366 days, the others 365. But in the Gregorian calendar unlike the Julian, was introduced and a leap century. For example, in the XXI century the number of centuries equal to 20, for 4 shares, so this century – the leap and the duration of 2000 has 366 days, and another calendar. Therefore, the dates of your religious holidays according to the Gregorian calendar have not changed. In the XXII century the number of centuries equal to 21 and 4 is not divisible, so 2100 the Gregorian calendar will have 365 days, and 366 according to the Julian calendar, and the calendars will disperse for another day. So Christmas according to the Julian calendar remains on December 25 and Gregorian will be moved to January 8.

Imagine that you live not now, but at the turn of the XXI and XXII centuries, and suddenly all the dates the Church will change one day… It’s just a disaster!

So the problem is, whether we like it or not, still stands and it will have to be addressed. Another thing is that it is impossible to make hasty, forcing some decisions. Need systematic education and much preparatory and explanatory work.

And modern Christians need to just live in the current conditions. You can not be aloof from those celebrating the New year, the same parties, to rejoice with them, anyone without becoming a burden to its dull appearance, only trying to choose lean food.

Photo: Evgeny Pavlov / Flickr

The post joy is not contrary to the: St. Seraphim greeted those who came to him with the words: “Christ is Risen, my joy!” The Apostle Paul encourages: “rejoice Always” (1 Thess. 5:16). Fasting or not fasting, Christians should always be joyful.

Another thing is that in these circumstances, the new year’s holiday weekends are hard to fast. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Yes, indeed, everything is possible, and you need to limit myself. But, if you know that you’re limiting yourself for the sake of Christ and in order to internally prepare, to tune in do lightful Christmas, then donate something. Children, of course, possible to give some relief, but need to organize their post so that they are in accordance with the age and forces himself a little bit limited.

For the Orthodox Christian centre must be temple life, we should strive to live in the rhythm of Church life. It is clear that universal holiday vacation is certain to tempt you away of the circumstances. It is difficult to demonstrate abstinence during the period when the whole country can be fun and feast.

Either you give in or stand and bring a certain sacrifice. But for Christ’s sake. And the Lord will reward you as He knows how. For the sake of it can bear.

And children need to configure it for Christmas. The tree set is not for the New year, a little later, before Christmas. If you are invited to a New year, please, but just tell the child: “Watch and a bit cramp, meat pie don’t eat the sausage sandwich, don’t eat, and cheese, or take a fish.” The child did not need and even harmful such a strict fast, as an adult.

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