... Russia, on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Russians celebrate Orthodox

Merry Christmas Russia. It’s a big event for Russians, visitors and tourists in the largest country on earth. Tourists from everywhere experience this important religious event. This year teeth-chattering weather descended on Russia on Christmas Eve, with temperatures falling to -25C in Moscow and -35C in the remote region of Yakutia, as hundreds of thousands of believers are expected to attend Midnight Mass in the Russian capital Moscow and elsewhere.

The Orthodox Church follows the Julian Calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar adopted by the Catholic Church. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7.

Those attending Midnight Mass in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, conducted by Patriarch Kirill, will have to wrap up extra warm this Christmas.

As Russia celebrates Orthodox Christmas, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, has delivered his traditional address to believers. He said he prays for peace in Ukraine above all.

As millions of worshippers across Russia gathered for Christmas night liturgies on January 6, Patriarch Kirill addressed the Orthodox community with words of peace, paying special attention to the conflict in Ukraine.

“On these holy Christmas days, the prayers of the whole Church and my augmented litany are for peace on the Ukrainian soil,” Kirill said in his address.

He added that “regardless of the place of residence of its children, their political views or preferences,” the Russian Orthodox Church is doing everything possible to bring people together to help them overcome the consequences of conflicts.

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