ORTHODOX Christians in Slovakia – predominantly in the east of the country – observing the Julian calendar begin their Christmas celebrations January 6 as they celebrated Christmas Eve.

The celebrations are preceded by 40 days of fasting, which includes abstention from all animal products, including eggs and dairy products. Even though the fasting ends in the evening of January 6, the Orthodox Christmas Eve supper can be prepared only from ingredients allowed to be consumed in periods of fasting, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Orthodox Christmas Eve is followed by Christmas Day, January 7 on the Gregorian calendar, which is followed by the feast of Synaxis of the Holy Theotokos (January 8) and feast of Stephen, Archdeacon and Protomartyr (January 9).

According to the latest statistics (as of 2011), there are around 49,000 officially registered Orthodox believers in Slovakia.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.