Coptic Christmas in Sudan in 2025

Coptic Christmas in Sudan in 2025
  How long until Coptic Christmas?
Coptic Christmas
  Dates of Coptic Christmas in Sudan
2025 Sudan Tue, Jan 7 National Holiday
2024 Sudan Sun, Jan 7 National Holiday
2023 Sudan Sat, Jan 7 National Holiday
2022 Sudan Fri, Jan 7 National Holiday
2021 Sudan Thu, Jan 7 National Holiday

The Coptic Orthodox Church recognises 7 January as the day that Jesus was born

  Coptic Christmas in other countries
Coptic Christmas internationally
Related holidays

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 20 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.

The Coptic Orthodox Church traces its origins to the 1st century AD when the Apostle Mark is said to have visited Egypt. Mark is regarded by Egypt’s Christians as the first Pope of Alexandria, the original seat of the church.

Egypt was almost entirely Christian on the eve of the Muslim Arab conquest around 640AD. It remained majority Christian until around the 13th century. The genesis of the word “Coptic” is the Greek word for Egypt, Aeygyptus.

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 fast which they break after mass on Coptic Christmas Day. Unlike the Easter fast which is vegan, the Christmas fast permits seafood.

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.

Ethiopian Orthodox Church members also make a stew called "wat," which is prepared from a rooster that's divided into 12 parts, symbolizing the 12 apostles, and is eaten along with 12 eggs.

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