Is Orthodox New Year a Public Holiday?
Orthodox New Year is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.
What Do People Do?
Many Orthodox Christians in Canada observe the New Year based on January 1 in the Julian calendar, which is on or near to January 14 in the Gregorian calendar. However, there are also Orthodox Christians who observe New Year’s Day (January 1) based on the revised Julian calendar, which correlates with the Gregorian calendar. Orthodox New Year celebrations include social gatherings and dinners featuring traditional activities and dishes from other parts of the world such as Russia or Ukraine. Many Orthodox Christians also attend special New Year’s Day liturgies at their churches.
Orthodox New Year’s Day falls on or near January 14 and is not a nationwide public holiday in Canada. However, parking and traffic around some Orthodox Christian churches where special New Year liturgies are held may be busy around this time of the year.
The Orthodox New Year is widely known as the Old New Year. It is marked as January 1 in the Julian calendar, which was used before the Gregorian calendar. The Orthodox New Year does not remain static in the Gregorian calendar because there are shifts between the Julian and Gregorian calendars over time. For example, the Old New Year falls on January 14 between 1901 and 2100 but it will move again in time if the Julian calendar is still used.
The Julian calendar was revised in 1923 and this version is more in line with the Gregorian calendar. Some Orthodox churches follow the revised Julian calendar but many Orthodox churches still follow the more traditional Julian calendar, which has the original dates for Christian observances prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.