Why hasn't the Eastern Orthodox Church adopted the Gregorian Calendar?

Since the Gregorian Calendar was a correction that properly aligns the date with the season, it essentially isn’t really religious but simply a proper correction.

So even the protestant western countries like Britain adopted it in the 18th century.

But someone who is an Eastern Orthodox follower said they were celebrating Christmas on January 6 (Jan 6 in the New System, Gregorian calendar). I think this person was in the Serbian Orthodox Church?

So then am I to presume the Eastern Rite churches never have adopted the Gregorian Calendar out of resistence to the Pope, or change in general? If so, why on earth won’t they modernize?

It’s a little more complicated than that. This site might explain it:


it is very complicated and quite the dust up in the orthodox church.

the julian calendar is running 13 days behind at this point, christmas is jan. 7th now. it will switch to jan. 8th later this century. the calendar seems to lose a day every century.

churches that were part of the russian empire or slavic are still on the full julian calendar. this would include the serbian church. churches that are under the other patriarchates or countries under metropolitans can use either the full julian or reformed julian.

the biggest reason seems to be “traditon!!” and that is a very tough argument to get around orthodox wise.


when the orthodox church of america decided to go totally revised calendar it let loose a storm of biblical proportions! to hold onto the alaskan church they had to allow alaska to stay julian calendar.

it is an unbelievable touchy subject. (ftr i’m in a julian calendar church)

Doesn’t the Church of Greece (as opposed to Greek Orthodox dioceses abroad) use the Gregorian calender for everything except Easter?

That’s why it’s called the orthodox church…

I don’t know. Why haven’t we adopted their’s? Or their alphabet?

Because the Gregorian Calender more closely follows the cosmological cycles upon which we base our time, I’d imagine.

the greek church uses both. modernize and change are words that don’t translate into orthodox lexicon.

But what difference do cosmological cycles make to the date on which you choose to celebrate Christmas or Easter? Or which month you call Ramadan, for that matter? As long as you please the man above.

It doesn’t, but it makes a difference for when you expect summer to start, or fall to begin, or the equnioxes to happen, and once you’ve changed your calendar to fit those things it makes some sense to use the new one also for religious celebrations.

It depends on whether you want the holidays tied to a season. The Islamic calendar was based on life in Saudi Arabia, where seasonal variation was pretty much minimal, and so was set up on a lunar basis. Ramadan falls sometimes in the spring, sometimes in the winter, etc as the lunar calendar loses days against the solar calendar. No prob, say the Muslims.

The Jewish calendar is lunar but adds a leap month every so often, so as to keep in line with the solar (i.e., seasonal) calendar. That’s because many of the Jewish holidays are harvest festivals, and so need to be seasonal.

The Gregorian Christian calendar is, of course, adjusted seasonally. The Orthodox will fall behind more and more (roughly one day per century). :: shrug :: The explanation of why the century years are not leap years (except every fourth century year) can be found in this brilliantly written Staff Report: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1511/why-do-we-have-leap-years