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Did you know?

The majority of people hear Christmas and naturally think of December 24 and 25. For millions of Christians, these two dates mark Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, respectively, which is when Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, the word Christmas comes from the phrase "Mass of Christ."

However, there are certain faithful who will not be celebrating Christmas on December 25. These are namely those who belong to Orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox churches, among others. These churches primarily trace their origins to Eastern Europe and portions of Asia and Africa, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Greece, Armenia, and Ethiopia. The churches utilize the former Julian calendar for religious observations. This places Christmas on January 7. It also is believed that 12 days after Jesus was born, three magi visited him to shower him with blessings and gifts, an event known as the Epiphany.

Some recognize Christmas as occurring on this day, which is January 6. In fact, the "true" Christmas holiday takes place between Christ's birth and the Epiphany, or the 12 days of Christmas. Candlemas, which comes 40 days after Christmas, also is considered the official end of the Christmas season for some.

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