When is Coptic Christmas?
How long until Coptic Christmas Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 80 Days.|
Dates of Coptic Christmas Day
|Marks the birth of Christ according to the Coptic Calendar|
The Coptic Church recognises 7 January as the day that Jesus was born. This is the same date as Orthodox Christmas. Elsewhere in the world, Christmas is celebrated on 25 December.
Why is Coptic Christmas on 7 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 percent of Egypt's Christians. The Coptic Orthodox Church has been a distinct Christian body since the schism that took place at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, 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.