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Merry Orthodox Christmas to Ethiopia!

Merry Orthodox Christmas to Ethiopia!


As people are trying to get back to normal life after the Christmas craze, Ethiopians were celebrating Christmas!

Ethiopia (and especially the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) still use the old Julian calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th, not December 25th!

The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna. Most people go to Church on Christmas day.

Many people fast on Christmas Eve (January 6th). At dawn on the morning of Ganna, people get dressed in white. Most people wear a traditional garment called a shamma, a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly colored stripes across the ends.

The early Ganna mass starts at 4.00am!

Believers flock churches all dressed in white to welcome the birth of Christ.

Up to 300 million Christians around the world still follow the Julian calendar including communities from Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Each community with its own unique tradition of celebrating this special day.

Russian President Vladamir Putin, attended a midnight service in Turginovo, a north western village in Russia.

In Egypt, President Abdul Fattah Al-sisi joined Coptic Christians in the country for the celebrations.

Orthodox Christmas runs 13 days behind the Roman Catholic Church as the Eastern Orthodox Church kept to the Julian Calendar while Rome changed to the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th. Century.

In Africa, Its only Ethiopia, Egypt and Eritrea, who still observe the ancient Julian calender.