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Orthodox New Year

Orthodox New Year, also known as Old New Year, is celebrated a bit later than the first day of the year as we now know it. The term Old New Year comes from differences between the Julian and the Gregorian calendar. Parts of the Orthodox Church still use the Julian calendar that was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century.

The adjustment meant that the 1st in the Julian moved to the 14th in the Gregorian calendar. Not everyone was on board with the change immediately and some countries kept using the Julian calendar, which caused many people to head their letters with two dates. The calendar reform still has an impact and in the future, it will mean that after 2100 the date has to be moved again to 15th January. 

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How Do You Celebrate Orthodox New Year?

Reflecting on the past year and thinking about resolutions for the upcoming year is a big part of this traditional holiday. Celebrations usually involve a large meal and live music. Food and dancing are a big part of the celebrations with people enjoying traditional buffets and moving to the rhythms of popular as well as folk music.

Next to the special liturgies or church services, Orthodox churches often organize parties or gala dinners to raise funds for charity or renovation works. Fireworks are also part of this feast day. For example, in Serbia, the Orthodox Church organizes an amazing display in front of the Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade.

How to Get Creative for Orthodox New Year

Impress friends and family with a personalized invitation card to your Orthodox New Year celebration or show how important this day is to you with an eye-catching visual on social media. Explore your options with our Design Wizard templates.

Step 1: Browse our library of invitations and templates for all kinds of formats and sizes to find what you're looking for.

Step 2: Customize your chosen template with icons or add text to wish everyone a Happy Orthodox New Year. Experiment with colors and personalize your card with images of your friends and family.

Step 3: Save and download your custom design. You can print your invitations or share them on social media immediately.

Understanding the Different Calendars

The 1st of January according to the Gregorian calendar is the most commonly celebrated around the world. The Julian calendar's first day of the year falls on the 14th of the calendar as most of us know it. There are also those who follow the lunar calendar where New Year's day depends on the cycles of the moon. That means the holiday is different every year but generally occurs between the end of January and the end of February.