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    OCU switches to new calendar

    The Orthodox Church of Ukraine – the country’s most popular religious organization – today decided to completely switch to a new calendar. Earlier, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church announced the same decision, BBC’s Ukrainian Service reports.

    Therefore, from September 1, the majority of Ukrainian Christians are free to start celebrating religious holidays in a new way. Christmas will be marked on December 25, not January 7. In the same way, other holidays will be shifted – such as Pokrova (October 1), Epiphany (January 6) and St Nicholas Day (December 6). But this will not apply to Easter and some other holidays, in particular the Trinity.

    The decision to switch to a new calendar was made at the bishops’ council. It took place in Kyiv in the Tabernacle Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

    Formally, the transition is yet to be approved by the local council of the church on July 27, 2023, with the participation of the laity. However, as the head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, said, the issue has already been resolved so the transition will take place from September 1.

    The shift to a new calendar was a difficult step that had not been taken for decades. Church members were wary that people would not accept the reform and will celebrate in the old way, or that they would transition to the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate, which, like the Russian Orthodox Church, is against the implementation of the calendar reform.

    However, after the full-scale invasion by Russia, this issue acquired a political tone and the majority of Ukrainians expressed support for such a step. This issue began to be perceived as part of the “shifting away from Moscow!” spree.

    The difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendar is 13 days.

    Secular Ukraine, along with most other countries, has been living according to the more accurate Gregorian calendar, introduced in the 16th century, for more than 100 years.

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