Merry (Orthodox) Christmas, everyone! :D

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
For us Orthodox, Christmas is today, January 7th, on a Monday, no less lol

Here is a pic you'll probably see only in Russia lmao Alexander Zaldostanov, aka "Khirurg" ("Surgeon", so nicknamed, reportedly, for his skill in a knife fight :D), leader of Russia's number one biker gang "Night Wolves", good friends of Putin, taking a selfie with some woman as he arrives earlier today for the Christmas service at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

That's where Patriarch Kirill personally led the service, as he does every year

PM Medvedev and his wife were there

Not sure I like this new fad, where they surround themselves with dressed up kids for God only knows what purpose...

Anyway, Putin OTOH has avoided the Cathedral in recent years, going to smaller local churches instead, I guess trying to be closer with regular people.

This year was no different. He went back to his hometown, St. Petersburg, where he fired off a cannon, a military Christmas tradition there, apparently
and later went to the church where he was secretly baptized in his Soviet childhood

Overall, this is a hard time for all the Orthodox. There are divisions over Ukraine, see:
Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas Amid Internal Divisions
Ukrainian Orthodox Church Officially Gains Independence From Russian Church

There are still people, civilians, in the Donbass living in danger, ducking bullets, rockets, and artillery shelling from both the Ukrainian government and the separatists, in communities near the front line. People being injured, maimed, cripple, and killed there, every day, all the truces and ceasefires be damned...

There are other issues.

In Ethiopia, for example, African Orthodox people struggle in poverty. In the Middle East, many suffer too.

Nonetheless, we celebrate. Christmas is Christmas. A day of joy, not sorrow. Merry Orthodox Christmas, my friends :)
Likes: OlGuy
Dec 2014
As a Roman Historian, I find the eastern tradition of employing the Julian calendar quite interesting, as it is a remnant of the Great Schism.
Likes: The Man
May 2016
I noticed that when searching for the Comet of 536AD it was sometimes listed as the Comet of 562AD. The culprit being the Julian calendar which replaced the Gregorian calendar in the west but not necessarily in western historical references.
Likes: The Man

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
"a military Christmas tradition"

That should at least win oxymoron of the week. ;)
I am not really sure what it's about either. All I know is, the fire that cannon every Christmas. That's just their thing lol

No days off for the diaspora, eh?

Or did you book off the day?
Nah, I went to the Russian church near us for a midnight service, and then came home, had like less than five hours of sleep, and went to the office. I am conditioned for it, don't sleep much anyway, have chronic insomnia and such lol

There's lots of strange traditions over there.

On January 19th, will be Orthodox Christening or Epiphany in Russia. That's when all water becomes holy, basically. And priests cut cross shaped, usually, holes in ice over rivers and lakes and such, and people go jump in for a swim in them, no joke

Putin, last year

and US Ambassador Jon Huntsman, partaking in the local culture lol

I will say this, it is a great way to meet beautiful women over there, these January ice swims

You think all these THREE emergency personnel at once would rush over to help some dude out of the water like that?


Some diasporas here will be doing this too lmao Not me though, no way. Call me a pussy. My cold tolerance is not nearly what it used to be (and it was never great even back in Moscow; I did the dip once, back there, when I was 13; almost died; never again... I'm from the damn South, sorry...)

As a Roman Historian, I find the eastern tradition of employing the Julian calendar quite interesting, as it is a remnant of the Great Schism.
I hear you...

Many of us also think it is weird that we have Christmas AFTER New Year, unlike most of the normal world haha

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