Home   Calendar   Holidays   Canada   Orthodox New Year
Flag for Canada

Orthodox New Year in Canada

Many Orthodox Christian Canadians 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.

©iStockphoto.com/Lisa Valder

What Do People Do?

Many Orthodox Christians in Canada observe the New Year based on January 1 in the Julian calendar, which is on or near to January 14 in the Gregorian calendar. However, 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. Orthodox New Year celebrations include social gatherings and dinners featuring traditional activities and dishes from other parts of the world such as Russia or Ukraine. 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 Canada.  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 Type
2015WedJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2016ThuJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2017SatJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2018SunJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2019MonJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2020TueJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2021ThuJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2022FriJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2023SatJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2024SunJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox
2025TueJan 14Orthodox New YearOrthodox

You might also like

Parliament Hill Canada decorated for Christmas

Orthodox Christmas Day

Many Orthodox Christian churches in countries such as Canada observe Christmas Day on or near January 7 in the Gregorian calendar. more

Jesus in the clouds

Ascension Day

Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven, according to Christian belief. more

Luxury chocolates presented as a gift.

Eid ul Fitr

Eid al-Fitr, which is on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. more