NEWSLINK: “Ukraine seeks distance from Moscow with new Christmas holiday” – AFP

Rada File Photo

“Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday voted for a new public holiday on December 25 in a move that they said would allow the country to distance itself from Russia, which celebrates Orthodox Christmas in January. …”

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RUSSIALINK RT: “Moscow celebrates despite coldest Christmas night ‘in 120 years.'”

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

“Bitterly cold temperatures haven’t stopped worshipers from celebrating Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas. Christian believers across the globe joined in celebrations. Those who attended midnight liturgy at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior had to bundle up for the bitter cold as temperatures in the capital dropped to about -30C on Christmas night. In Moscow Region, temperatures dropped below -32C. …”

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Unwrapping Christmas in Russian literature

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

The decorations are up, the nights are drawing in – in the northern hemisphere, at least – and gift-hunters are braving the crowds ahead of Christmas. In Russia, however, this celebration has a different meaning. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – PETER BEECH, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 7, 2016) The majority of Russians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, […]

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Russian business falls in love with “Western” Christmas

Russian Christmas – celebrated in January – is still a noncommercial family occasion. December is now the main month for holiday shopping. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – December 21, 2015) According to the city’s press services, festivals and fairs, such as the Journey to Christmas, are engines of development for tourism, business activities and […]

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Putin, Patriarch Kirill Kick Off Orthodox Christmas Celebrations

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 7, 2015) The Russian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Kirill prayed for peace in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin attended mass at a village church in southern Russia, as Russia’s Orthodox believers celebrated Christmas on Wednesday. Russian Orthodox Church holidays are marked according to the old Julian calendar, with Christmas falling on Jan. 7, when it […]

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Kiev Brings Back Orthodox Santa Claus Instead of Soviet-Era Father Frost

Artist Rendition of Santa Claus on Hill with Snow and Village in Distance, with Caption NORAD Tracks Santa

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 20, 2014) New Year celebrations in Ukraine’s capital Kiev this year will be spearheaded by Saint Mykolay – the country’s Orthodox analogue of Santa Claus – instead of his secular Soviet-era counterpart Father Frost, according to an outline of the festivities published by the city administration. The holiday saint will be coming to the […]

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Moscow Celebrates Russian Orthodox Christmas With Giant Apple Pie

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 7, 2014) This year’s warm temperatures meant believers in Moscow celebrated a red and gold, rather than white, Orthodox Christmas. Moscow confectioners baked a giant apple and cherry pie in celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas, which is marked on Jan. 7, based on the old Julian calendar. The 100 kilogram, 1.5-meter by 2.5-meter pie […]

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Interfax: Patriarch Kirill finds commercialization of Christmas in West dangerous

Patriarch Kirill file photo

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – Ousting the true sense of Christmas from public space, including its substitution with other names, can have dangerous consequences, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said. “This is a political action, a purposeful act to oust Christian values, including Christian holidays from the lives of people. This is spiritual disarmament of the masses. […]

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Interfax: Medvedev greets Patriarch Kirill on Christmas, thanks for spiritual patronage

Patriarch Kirill file photo

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has greeted Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Christmas, the government website reported on Tuesday. “This holiday presents the light of faith, the warmth of love and the happiness of hope. It consolidates the moral foundations of our society helping people to learn Christian values of kindness, mercy and […]

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Interfax: Putin: Christmas serves to unite millions on the basis of common spiritual values and traditions

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – President Vladimir Putin has greeted Orthodox Christians, all Russian citizens celebrating Christmas, the Kremlin press service reported on Tuesday. “This lightsome holiday nourishes the kindest of feelings and intensions and serves to unite millions of people on the basis of common spiritual values and historical traditions of which mutual respect and accord, mercy and care […]

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Christmas Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – January 6, 2013) Your Eminences the archpastors, honourable fathers, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters! Today the Holy Church radiantly and with joy glorifies the mystery of the birth from the Most Pure Virgin of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Creator, in loving his creation, ‘was manifest in the flesh’, ‘became man’ and ‘like […]

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[Putin] Merry Christmas greetings

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 7, 2013) Vladimir Putin wished Orthodox Christians and all Russian citizens a Merry Christmas. The message reads, in part: “Over the centuries this holiday has brought us the light of faith, hope and love. It unites us around traditional moral values that play a special role in Russian history and are the backbone of our society. Christmas […]

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Russian Orthodox Believers Begin Christmas Celebrations

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Orthodox believers flocked to churches on Monday to attend Christmas services with some 6,000 people attending the service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, called on the believers to “follow the Savior’s path of love” and to “always think about the wellbeing of all […]

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