Christmas holiday has come to Russia along with Christianity and became one of the major Christian holidays in Russia.
According to the Russian Orthodox calendar, Christmas lands on January 7th and is much more solemn and religious affair than in the west. Why the Russian Christmas falls on January 7th? The answer is the Julian calendar. In 1582 Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar, called the Gregorian, instead of Julian. The Western Christian word lives by the Gregorian calendar, which also internationally accepted as a civil calendar. Gregorian calendar got definition of “the new style” calendar, and Julian - as “the old style” one. Russian Orthodoxy has not adopted the new calendar and to this day uses the Julian calendar. The difference between old and new style is increasing by one day every hundred years. Now it is thirteen days deference. However Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated annually in the same date. Like all religious holidays, it is accompanied by Russian Christmas traditions, ceremonies, Russian Christmas song and music, including the yummy Russian Christmas food (please check my page with Russian Christmas recipes).