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Orthodox New Year in Australia

Many Orthodox Christians in Australia celebrate the New Year on January 1 in the Julian calendar, which pre-dates the more widely used Gregorian calendar. This date falls on or near January 14 in the Gregorian calendar.

Is Orthodox New Year a Public Holiday?

Orthodox New Year is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Candle holder and orthodox icons in background
Candles lit in an Orthodox Christian church.
Candles lit in an Orthodox Christian church.
©iStockphoto.com/Lisa Valder

What Do People Do?

Some Orthodox Christians in Australia celebrate the New Year based on January 1 in the Julian calendar, which is on or near to January 14 in the Gregorian calendar. There are also Orthodox Christians who observe New Year’s Day  (January 1) based on the revised Julian calendar, which correlates with the Gregorian calendar. Both Christmas Day dates fall within the Australian school holiday period so it is a time for many families to have time off and enjoy their summer vacation.

Orthodox New Year celebrations include social gatherings and dinners featuring traditional activities and dishes from other parts of the world such as eastern Europe. Many Orthodox Christians also attend special New Year’s Day liturgies at their churches.

Public Life

Orthodox New Year’s Day falls on or near January 14 and is not a nationwide public holiday in Australia.  However, parking and traffic around some Orthodox Christian churches where special New Year liturgies are held may be busy around this time of the year.

Background

The Orthodox New Year is widely known as the Old New Year. It is marked as January 1 in the Julian calendar, which was used before the Gregorian calendar. The Orthodox New Year does not remain static in the Gregorian calendar because there are shifts between the Julian and Gregorian calendars over time. For example, the Old New Year falls on January 14 between 1901 and 2100 but it will move again in time if the Julian calendar is still used.

The Julian calendar was revised in 1923 and this version is more in line with the Gregorian calendar. Some Orthodox churches follow the revised Julian calendar but many Orthodox churches still follow the more traditional Julian calendar, which has the original dates for Christian observances prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.

Symbols

The Orthodox New Year has been symbolized or mentioned in various Eastern European art, including Russian or Ukrainian works.

About Orthodox New Year in other countries

Read more about Orthodox New Year.

Orthodox New Year Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010ThuJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2011FriJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2012SatJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2013MonJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2014TueJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2015WedJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2016ThuJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2017SatJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2018SunJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2019MonJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 
2020TueJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox 

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