November 15th starts the
40-day Christmas Fasting, introduced by the Church later than the Holy
Fasting for Easter. In 1166 the Patriarch of Constantinople, Luke
Chrysoberges, defined the Christmas Fasting Days to be exactly 40.
The celebrations of the Holy Nativity feast became popular around the
year of 350 AD in the western Europe, while in Eastern Europe they
were first introduced by Saint Gregorii Bogoslov (i.e. Saint Gregory
the Theologian) around 375 – 380 AD.
Holy Nativity was
celebrated on a number of different days throughout Christian world –
December 25 in the western parts,
January 4 in Antiochia,
April 18 or 19 or May 29 in Alexandria,
January 6 or 10 in Asia Minor
It was not until the
end of the 4th century AD that these celebrations were appointed on
one day for all the churches (except the Armenian) -
i.e. the date of December 25th.
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