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Merry (Orthodox) Christmas: Orthodox Christians Around The World Are Celebrating The Birth Of Jesus
January 7, 2013
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People attend a Christmas service in the town of Verbovichi, Belarus - AFP/Getty Images

Orthodox Christians around the world - from Russia to the West Bank - are celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus today.

Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar and celebrate Christmas on or near January 7th - as opposed to December 25th under the Gregorian or 'Western' calendar.

The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BCE (Before Common Era) and replaced the Roman calendar.

Here are some of the best photos we've seen today celebrating Orthodox Christmas ceremonies and traditions.

A Palestinian Orthodox Christian girl lights a candle in a church during Christmas celebrations in Gaza City - AFP/Getty Images

People attend a ceremonial burning of dried oak branches, the Yule log symbol for the Orthodox Christmas Eve, in front of a church in Sabac, Serbia - AFP/Getty Images

A Greek Orthodox man kisses the wooden cross he retrieved from the Bosphorus river's Golden Horn as part of Epiphany celebrations in Istanbul - AFP/Getty Images

Bosnian Serb children break the traditional Christmas bread in front of an Orthodox Church in Banja Luka - AP

Masked men, symbolising death, perform Christmas carols, known locally as Kolyadki, in the Ukrainian city of Lviv - Reuters

Orthodox women attend Christmas midnight mass led by the head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, at a cathedral in Cairo - AFP/Getty Images

People in Santa Claus costumes take part in an annual race in Belgrade, Serbia - Reuters

The Telegraph has more photos here. Al-Jazeera has more here. And NBC has more here.

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