Orthodox New Year Day

Orthodox New Year Day

Though New Year holds on 1 January by the Julian Calendar, it is also observed on 14 January by the Gregorian Calendar. Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, and Serbia celebrate in order to attract health and wealth in the coming year.

This traditional dating of the New Year is sometimes commonly called “Orthodox” because it harks back to a time when governments in Russia and Eastern Europe used the Julian calendar, which is still used by some jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Julian’s New Year, is a holiday celebrated on January 14 under the Gregorian calendar each year. That date is the first of January by the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar runs 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar, the standard international calendar in use today. That is because many Orthodox Christian churches follow the Julian calendar for religious celebrations.

Julian’s New Year or Orthodox New Year is also called Serbian New year. The Old New Year or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar. They not only celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31st, but we also celebrate it again on January 14th, according to the above-mentioned Julian’s Calendar! The fun fact is that we actually call it the “Old New Year”!

So there are two New Year’s, January 1 (New New Year) and January 14 (Old New Year). Holding on two times the new year, the main reason for it is the two calendars as Gregorian & Julian calendar.


The Julian calendar took effect under the reign of Julius Caesar in 45BC. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII 1582 created a new calendar to correct the discrepancy between calendar time and calculated astronomical time. It became known as the Gregorian calendar.

The Orthodox Church observes the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar, which is used by Catholics, Protestants, and most people in the modern world. The Julian calendar holidays are 13 days later than holidays on the Gregorian calendar.

But to begin with, only Catholic countries adopted the changes and Orthodox Christian countries remained on the Julian calendar. Over time, those countries adopted the Gregorian calendar for secular use but the Orthodox churches continued to base their liturgical calendar on the Julian timetable.

In 1923 a revised version of the Julian calendar was introduced bringing Christmas Day in line with the Gregorian calendar, but it was only adopted by some of the Orthodox Christian countries including Greece, Cyprus, and Romania.

Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, and Montenegro continue to celebrate Christmas on January 7 and New Year on January 14.

What Do People Do?

The holiday is celebrated with family. In the evening, children and adults launch fireworks, participate in music and other contests and visit friends and family. Some churches hold Orthodox New Year events: prayers, special ceremonies. At midnight, prayer services will be served at Orthodox temples for a successful and blessed New Year.

They celebrate the “Old New Year” by gathering together with family and friends, eating some delicious food, and dancing to some popular music.

Orthodox New Year Messages and Wishes

Orthodox New Year is an opportunity date to re-wish. For that, people can wish about the new year to friends, family members, and other focusing people. Orthodox New Year is more important for Christians who follow the Julian Calendar than the Gregorian as the religious issues. The day is important to get rid of religion.

  • May this New Year be bright and happy. May peace and happiness reside in your family. Wish you a Happy New Year

  • May God be kind to fulfill all your dreams and desires in the coming year. Wish you a very happy new year.

  • May you have peace, joy, and good health all throughout the year. Happy New year

  • Let us hope that life is always beautiful, inspiring, and full of blessings like always. Wishing you a wonderful and successful Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • May you have a fun-filled, entertaining, and energetic New Year ahead. Sending warm wishes to you and your family on the arrival of 2022. Happy New Year.

  • On the occasion of New Year, I pray to God for your happiness and prosperity and wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

  • Wishing you a New Year showered with blessings of Almighty for happiness and smiles every day of this year.

  • May hope to keep smiling on you every day, throughout the Year. Wish you a very happy new year.

  • As this old year fades out, may the New Year break out with brightness and sparkles. Happy New Year.

  • Good health, peace, good luck may all these three be yours in the coming year. Happy new year

Suggested Read: Orthodox Christmas Day

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.