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Embracing Traditions: Russian Expats Celebrate Christmas on January 7 in the UAE

DALL·E 2024 01 07 18.56.51 A visual representation of a small family gathering celebrating Orthodox Christmas with traditional Russian dishes in the UAE. The scene shows a few

Cultural Diversity in the UAE

In the culturally diverse landscape of the UAE, Russian expatriates hold on to their traditions by celebrating Christmas on January 7. This unique timing, differing from the widely recognized December 25th celebration, is deeply rooted in the Russian Orthodox Church’s traditions.

The Julian Calendar and Its Significance

The reason behind the January 7th celebration dates back to the Julian calendar, which is still followed by the Russian Orthodox Church. This calendar runs 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar, which is currently used by most of the world, including the UAE.

Celebrations in the UAE

Russian expats in the UAE observe this special day with traditional festivities, including church services, family gatherings, and cultural events. Despite being far from their homeland, they find unique ways to recreate the festive spirit, blending their traditions with the local culture of the UAE.

The Essence of the Orthodox Christmas

The Orthodox Christmas is not just a date, but a reflection of rich religious and cultural heritage. It involves traditional customs like the Holy Supper on Christmas Eve, attending the Divine Liturgy at church, and sharing festive meals with loved ones.

Community and Cultural Exchange

The celebration of Orthodox Christmas by Russian expats in the UAE is a beautiful example of cultural exchange and respect for diversity. It enriches the cultural tapestry of the UAE, fostering understanding and appreciation among different communities.

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