Coptic Christmas in Egypt in 2021

Coptic Christmas in Egypt in 2021

  How long until Coptic Christmas?
This holiday next takes place in 106 days.
  Dates of Coptic Christmas in Egypt
2022 Egypt Fri, Jan 7 National Holiday
2021 Egypt Thu, Jan 7 National Holiday
2020 Egypt Tue, Jan 7 National Holiday
2019 Egypt Mon, Jan 7 National Holiday
2018 Egypt Sun, Jan 7 National Holiday
  Summary
The Coptic Orthodox Church recognises 7 January as the day that Jesus was born
  Coptic Christmas in other countries
Coptic Christmas internationally

When is Coptic Christmas?

The Coptic Church recognises January 7th as the day that Jesus was born. This is the same date as Orthodox Christmas. Elsewhere in the world, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.

Why is Coptic Christmas on 7th January?

The difference in the timing of the Christmas celebrations stretches back to 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII, ruled that the Catholic Church should follow a new calendar – called the Gregorian calendar, as it was closer to the solar calendar than the Julian calendar.

The Julian calendar had been established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.

Because it was the catholic pope who ruled on the adoption of the new calendar, many churches not aligned to the papacy ignored it, such as Protestants and the Coptic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Protestants accepted the new calendar in the early 1700s.

In 1922, the patriarch of Constantinople decided that the Gregorian calendar should be followed for the observance of Christmas, but not for Easter, and this edict was followed by many of the other Orthodox churches.

Coptic Orthodox Christians comprise 90% of Egypt's 10 million Christians. The Coptic Orthodox Church has been a distinct Christian body since the schism that took place at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, when the Coptic Church broke from the rest of the Christian Church.

Coptic Christmas was declared a national holiday in Egypt in 2005 by the government of Hosni Mubarak.

Customs of Coptic Christmas

On the evening of 6th January, Copts observe a fast - and refrain from drinking and eating from 3pm until midnight They also go to church for a special liturgy or service.

Before Christmas, some Coptic Christians may observe a 43-day vegan fast which they break after mass on Coptic Christmas Day.

On Orthodox Christmas Day people come together in homes for parties and festivities.

A popular dish for Coptic Christmas is fattah, a mixture of rice, meat and crispy bread. Roast Pig is the traditional Orthodox Christmas Day meal.

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