Why is Christmas in Russia celebrated on the seventh of January instead of the 25th of December?

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Christmas is NOT celebrated in Russia on January 7th. It is celebrated on December 25th. Of course, the follow up question would be "When is December 25th?"

Pre-revolutionary Russia used the Julian calendar universally, i.e. for government, personal purposes and church purposes. When the Soviet government changed to the Gregorian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Church did not make the change. They continued using the Julian calendar, which is (currently) 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.

Since Christmas is a religious holiday, it was not celebrated as a Soviet state holiday (focus during the Soviet era was on New Year). As a religious holiday, it continued to be celebrated in churches and in homes, privately, on December 25 - but, the December 25 used by the Church. Even with the fall of the Soviet Union, the Church still uses the Julian calendar.

Think of it this way: Go to Moscow. Buy a newspaper on January 7. Look at the date - sure enough, it will say January 7. Walk into a Russian Orthodox church, carrying that newspaper. As soon as you enter the church, it is, for all practical purposes, December 25. (No, the newspaper will not change the printed date). Any announcements, bulletins, Gospel readings etc. will reflect that today is December 25. Turn around, walk out of the church and, as soon as you exit, it is January 7.

It should be plain to see, but this also means that the date for celebrating Russian Christmas is not connected to January 6 as Epiphany, as Julian January 6 falls on Gregorian January 19, which is Russian Epiphany (usually called "Theophany" in the Russian Church).
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