- Russia announced a 36-hour ceasefire to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine from noon on January 6 to midnight on January 7, this was to mark the Orthodox Christmas.
Why the difference in the dates?
- The difference in dates has got to do with the difference between the ‘Gregorian’ and ‘Julian’ calendars. The Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, in which Christmas is celebrated on January 7
The Two Types of Calendars
- Pope Gregory XIII, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, instituted the Gregorian calendar in 1582, and it bears his name.
- The Julian calendar, which Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor, had established in 45 BC, was transformed by a solar dating system.
- A solar year is divided into 365 and a quarter days according to both the Gregorian and Julian calendars.
How is it calculated?
- However, because the solar year actually consists of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45.25 seconds, the Julian calendar’s dates for the seasons actually advanced by almost one day per century.
- By only counting century years that are perfectly divisible by 400 as leap years, the Gregorian system enhanced the Julian system (eg. 1600, 2000).
- When the Julian calendar was in use, a large portion of medieval Europe observed the beginning of the new year on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation), which fell nine months before Christmas.
Source The Hindu
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