A Julian calendar question

11 April 2007

Yesterday, talking to Tripp I mentioned the Julian calendar, specifically how the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia still uses it.

I never thought about it, but does that mean that when we say it’s “Sunday” they don’t?  I’m sure the Fogey will have an answer for this.

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4 Responses to “A Julian calendar question”


  1. The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia still uses it as well!

    It doesn’t affect days of the week: Sunday is still Sunday. It affects fixed-date feast-days so for example Julian Sunday, 25th December, 2006 was ‘Russian Christmas’ falling on Gregorian Sunday, 7th January, 2007. In other words the Julian is now 13 days behind. I think Russia was the last country to adopt the Gregorian as the civil calendar; before the Soviets did that in 1918 it used the Julian for everything.

    I understand two things stop the Gregorian falling behind real time like the Julian: leap years and every 400 years there is no leap-year day (because the earth doesn’t go around the sun in exactly 365.25 days). It eventually will fall behind too but that will take thousands of years.

  2. Steve Says:

    The Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia also uses it, and so does the Serbian Orthodox Church.

    The days of the week are exactly the same, but the days of the month are different. So the fixed feasts, those falling on a fixed day of the month, are different.


  3. I guess what confuses me is the idea that you can be a number of days off not a multiple of seven and still be on the same day of the week.

    So it doesn’t effect Easter then?


  4. The date for Easter is got like it is in the West but is usually later for the Orthodox because they also follow an old church rule that it can never coincide with or come before the Jewish Passover.

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