Christmas in some countries

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When the world is celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ on 25th December, why do the Greeks, Russians, Armenians and other East Europeans celebrate the birth of Christ on January 6th?

To understand why, we need to ascertain how the date of birth of Jesus Christ fixed.

Council of Nicaea

A council was formed, now popularly known as the Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD to arrive at Jesus Christ’s date of birth.

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Council of Nicaea

A few dates were put up for consideration at the Council:

  1. 25th December was suggested by the Romans
  2. 20th  May was given by the Clement of Alexandria
  3. 28th March was given by De Pascha Computes
  4. 6th January was given by the Greeks as it was the birthday of their God Dionysus
  5. Egyptians suggested the birthday of their God Osiris

The Urn Method

To choose a day, as the story goes, they put the names into an urn and picked one of them. The date that was picked is not known, but it is better known that the date was not accepted by all.

Christmas in some countries 2

An ancient Urn

This probably led to having multiple days for the birth of Jesus Christ.

January 6th

Since then, the Greek orthodoxy celebrate January 6th as Christmas which is essentially the birthday of Greek God Dionysus who was the most popular divinity of the Greek then.

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