It only comes twice a year


A Christmas tree illuminates during the holiday season. Some students at Lake Central celebrated Christmas on Jan. 7 due to their Orthodox background.

Danica Mileusnic

Dec. 25 is the date most people in the United States celebrate Christmas, but on Jan. 7, people of Orthodox origin will celebrate their Christmas. There are two different religious calendars causing there to be Christmas on both days. The Julian calendar is used in the Orthodox religion and Pope Gregory XVIII adopted the new Gregorian calendar.

“I celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 because it is on the Orthodox calendar. We run behind the Catholic [calendar],” Bozana Cucuz (10) said.

Students who celebrate Orthodox Christmas often have to attend school on Christmas Eve, due to the administration not giving a day off.

“I think the school allows you to have an excused absence and is an understanding solution to celebrate with the family. I think it’s  important for people to celebrate to keep that part of their heritage alive because it’s important to keep culture alive,” Mrs. Nancy Tilka, World Language, said.

Some students who celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, are very intrigued on the fact there is another Christmas that is not very acknowledged.

“I did not know that [there is a Christmas on Jan. 7]. I think it’s pretty cool that you can celebrate on a different day. I would be really upset if I had to go to school on Christmas Eve. It’s their holiday to spend time with family, and you can’t do that if you were at school,” AnnMarie Hemmerling (10) said.

Families celebrate Christmas in different styles. This can include going to mass, presents and fun foods.

I celebrate [Christmas] twice. I celebrate on Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family and then once on Christmas with my dad’s [family]. We go to mass [both days], open presents at night, and at my grandfather’s house, we have pizza soup,” Hemmerling said.

On Orthodox Christmas students attend church service and have unique traditions that are inspired by the nativity scene.

“[On Christmas Eve,] we go to church and we celebrate ‘Badnja Vece’ and burn a tree in a fire. [On Christmas], we go to to church in the morning and have service. In the morning we have a tradition where we put a coin in a bread [called cesnica], and if you find [the coin] you have good luck for a year,” Bozana Cucuz (10) said.