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Merry (Orthodox) Christmas! Believers celebrate with solemn ceremonies

 

Ali Ali / EPA

A child watches as a Greek Orthodox priest celebrates Christmas Mass at the Orthodox Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City on Jan. 7.

Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar and celebrate Christmas on or near Jan. 7. The date works to be December 25 in the Julian calendar, which pre-dates the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BCE (Before Common Era) and replaced the Roman calendar.

Suhaib Salem / Reuters

A Palestinian Greek Orthodox boy attends Christmas services at the Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City on Jan. 7.

Georgi Licovski / EPA

A Macedonian Orthodox believer holds burning candles during the Christmas Mass in Skopje, Macedonia, on Jan. 7.

Georgi Licovski / EPA

An Orthodox priest gives holy wine and bread to a child after the Christmas Mass in Skopje, Macedonia, on Jan. 7.

Georgi Licovski / EPA

Believers hold burning candles during the Christmas Mass at the central Orthodox church, St. Kliment, in Skopje, Macedonia, on Jan. 7.

Musa Sadulayev / AP

A Russian Orthodox believer lights candles during a Christmas Mass in a church in Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia, late Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.

Darko Vojinovic / AP

People watch a ceremonial burning of dried oak branches for the Orthodox Christmas Eve in front of St. Sava temple in Belgrade, Serbia, on Jan. 6.

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As temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, take a look at beautiful light displays from around the globe.

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