Writings of Branko's Blog

All around Central Europe

According to the Old Calendar [blog]

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Many people don’t know that some Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate church festivals and saint days according to the Julian calendar, which originated as a reformed calendar in the times of Julius Caesar in 45 BC. But, in 1582 it was discovered that the calculations used for the Julian calendar actually wrongly add 10 minutes and 48 seconds per year, which makes 3 days in 4 centuries. So, that error was corrected by a papal decree (Pope Gregory), and thus came into being the Gregorian calendar.

Gregorian calendar is what it is used today in most of the world. It is also inaccurate – but more on that some other time.

However, the Old Calendar is still used by the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, in Georgia, on Mountain Athos, the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and among the Berbers in North Africa. The difference is 13 dates/days.

So, in Serbia, the Christmas Eve was on the 6th of January this year, and Christmas was celebrated on the 7th of January 2012. It was a festive and nice time of families joining together and enjoying some good food and company. Most of the people also connect that 3 day holiday with the 2 day New Year celebration, and do not work for a number of days…

The Protestant Evangelical Roma church from Leskovac, south Serbia, celebrated Christmas this year by bringing festive and carnival atmosphere to their neighborhoods on 7th of January. They traditionally walk the streets and sing praises and choruses to our God and Lord Jesus reminding the Romas on the gospel message.

On this photo you can see pastor Sheriff (playing accordion) leading his church members through one of the Roma settlements in Leskovac. A small team of young producers in this church also prepare two weekly Roma programs that TWR is broadcasting on local FMs – the Romane Krlo (Voice of the Roma) and Shalom Romalen (Peace be to the Romas)! The message is great and the worship music is excellent!

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