Why Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in January

 

Yes, Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in January. While many people are winding down from Christmas, why some people are just getting started?

For the majority of those who observe Christmas, it is over by the time January rolls around. But for some Christians, it is just getting started. A sizable minority of Christians who follow the Orthodox church celebrate Christmas in early January.

Why Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in January?

The split on what date Christmas is observed goes back to the 16th century, according to National Geographic reports, with the advent of the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar, adopted by Pope Gregory XIII, solved date-and-time-keeping problems that had built up over the years due to the previous system being out of sync with the Earth’s rotation around the sun.

But not all of Christendom adopted it. Because Orthodox Christians do not recognize the pope as the leader of the church, they have continued to use an older calendar system for religious purposes.

National Geographic described the origins of the Christmas date discrepancy:

The new calendar solved a number of tricky issues that had accumulated over the years, and the majority of the Christian world adopted it.

But the Orthodox Church disagreed. During the Great Schism of 1054, it had split into its own arm of Christianity after centuries of mounting political and doctrinal difference. Orthodox Christians do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the church, reject the concept of purgatory, and disagree over the origin of the Holy Spirit, among other differences.

Following Pope Gregory’s course correction would have meant accepting an occasional overlap between Passover and Easter—a move that went against holy texts of Orthodox Christianity. So the Orthodox Church rejected the Gregorian calendar and continued to rely on the Julian calendar.

The Julian calendar is a Roman system introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., which the Gregorian calendar replaced.

In addition, the observance of Christmas for Orthodox Christians also is a bit different from what those in the Western world might be familiar with, as National Geographic noted:

Orthodox Christians fast for up to 40 days leading up to Christmas, preparing for the birth of Christ by abstaining from meat, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil. After a vigil on Christmas Eve, Christmas itself is celebrated as one of the Church’s 12 Great Feasts, with churchgoing and celebration at home.

Claim – Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas in January.

As such, we rate this claim as True.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World Has an Exclusive Hotel Room

 

There is a suite hotel room in Cinderella’s Castle, a landmark structure at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. But you can’t pull it up and book it on Hotels.com, because it is rather exclusive.

In a 2018 interview with “Good Morning America,” suite concierge Sean Marsich said that staying in the room is something you can’t buy with money — it’s an invitation-only affair.

The room is called Cinderella’s Castle Suite, according to the resort’s website. It’s “nestled within the turrets where the clocks all remain at 11:59 p.m., magic lies in each corner, and one, glass slipper rests as a reminder to always dream,” according to the Disney World website.

 

Marsich added the suite can sleep up to four people and contains a number of details specific to the Disney story, including entertainment devices controlled with a magic wand and a glass slipper and a crown on display.

And the clock in the suite never changing from 11:59 also has special meaning: As in the classic Disney cartoon version of the “Cinderella” story, the magic spell that turns the Disney princess from an abused housemaid to princess-to-be ends at the stroke of midnight.

 

Claim – There’s a hotel room located inside Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World in Florida.

The good news is it’s really real! Unfortunately, none of us will likely ever get to stay there.

 

 

Falling Confetti in Times Square on New Year’s Eve Carry People’s Hopes and Dreams

 

If you have a wish for 2023, it can be a part of New York City’s famous New Year’s Eve Times Square celebration, albeit in a small way. In early December 2022, organizers for the New Year’s Eve party unveiled a “Wishing Wall,” which allows people to write their wishes on pieces of confetti for 2023. The same confetti will be released over the crowd on New Year’s Eve.

 

The Wishing Wall can be found in Manhattan at the Times Square Plaza between 46th and 47th streets, and will be open every day of December except for Christmas Day, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., until Dec. 29, 2022. For people who cannot submit wishes in person, a digital option allows submissions through an online form until Dec. 28, on the Times Square website, or on the website of its sponsor, Planet Fitness. Digital wishes submitted after that date will be saved for next year’s New Year’s celebration.

Recently a meme claimed, inaccurately, that a year-round visitor center wall would also allow people to share their hopes and dreams on Post-it notes that would be later used as part of the confetti drop on New Year’s Eve. However, submissions are not accepted year round, contrary to the Pinterest post below:

 

According to the official website for Times Square:

Whether it’s a personal goal, a dream for the future or doing something for the very first time, these wishes are added to over a ton of confetti that floats down at midnight onto the revelers gathered in Times Square in celebration of the new year. Be a part of this most magical night by making your wish in person through our mobile Wishing Wall on the plazas or by sharing your New Year’s wish with us below or on Twitter and Instagram using #ConfettiWish. We will add it to the thousands of others released above Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve for all the world to see!

 

In addition, this is not the first Wishing Wall in Times Square, and according to one report in the New York Post, it has appeared every December since 2007. Around 3,000 pounds of confetti reportedly will shower down on New Year’s Eve to mark the beginning of 2023. The confetti showering has taken place in Times Square since 1992.

 

Claim – The confetti that drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve bears people’s hopes and dreams, written or printed on each piece of paper. People can write these hopes and dreams on Post-it notes year round at the Times Square Visitor Center.

 

  • True – From Dec. 1, 2022, to Dec. 29, 2022, people can write their hopes and dreams on confetti at a Wishing Wall in Times Square — the same confetti that will shower down on Times Square on New Year’s Eve. People can also submit entries digitally until Dec. 28, 2022. But …
  • False – There is no year-round option to submit hopes and dreams on Post-it notes. The only way to submit them is during the month of December at a designated location or online.

 

In conclusion, Falling confetti in Times Square on New Year’s Eve does carry people’s hopes and dreams, but there is no option to submit them via Post-it notes year round. As such, we rate this claim as “Mostly True.”