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Saturday, January 09, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We have been out of town; out of the country, actually. And so we have had my iPhone turned off to avoid the vultures of data roaming charges, and usually do not bother to even crank up the lap-top, using only to store my reading materials.

So we were walking across Sanderling Place in Toronto, just off  The Donway, on the night of January 7. It was well after sunset, which is about 3:00 PM nowadays, it being cloudy again and threatening rain, and it was quite dark. We saw two tall dark figures coming across the walkway from the direction of Lawrence Street, the Congee Queen, and Divine Lashes, heading west along the Paperbirch Walkway.
They were dressed in black, but were wearing brightly colored stoles, that glowed in even the little light that there was available.
"What's today's date?" I asked.
"January 7, " She-who-must-be-obeyed answered.
"It's Christmas..." I said.
"... the Feast of the Epiphany..." she added.
She was thinking Western Rite, and I was suddenly back in the realm of the Eastern Rite: it was Orthodox Christmas!

So merry Christmas!
It marks the beginning of one 12 Day of Christmas while marking the end of another.
This business of multiple calendars and the extenuation of feasts by having a few days between the feasts of different rites is a rather good idea.

 Eve of Orthodox Christmas in Kazan Cathedral in Volgograd

 Palestinian Marching Band at Church of the Nativity in West Bank, Bethlehem

Procession awaiting Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos 
outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank, Bethlehem

 Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza City

  Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul, Turkey

 Armenian Orthodox Christmas in Iraq, Dohuk Province

Armenian Orthodox Christmas in Aleppo, Syria at Holy Mother of God Church

 Christmas Eve Mass in the St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine

President El-Sisi of Egypt Greeting at Coptic Christmas eve mass led by Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral

 Armenian Orthodox Christmas in Iraq, Dohuk Province

Russia's President Putin at the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God in Turginovo, Tver region, where his parents were baptized more than a century ago

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