Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas

Last updated at 13:55

Christmas might seem like a distant memory in the UK, but for millions of people around the world 7th January is the real Christmas Day.

Orthodox communities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East are celebrating, weeks after most of the Western world.

It's because they use a different calendar, called the Julian calendar, to work out what day Christmas should be.

Church services, fireworks, log-burning displays and processions are taking place as communities celebrate with their own traditions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a midnight service at a church in the village of TurginovoAP
These Russian children were joined in church by President Vladimir Putin
Members of a Syrian pipe band marching band parade outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of BethlehemEPA
In Bethlehem, a Syrian pipe band paraded outside the Church of the Nativity
Senior pastors attend during Egypt's Coptic Christmas Eve massReuters
In Egypt, Coptic Christians went to a Christmas service in Cairo's Orthodox Cathedral
Greek Orthodox swimmer Nico Solis holds up a wooden cross after retrieving it from the Bosporus river during the blessing of the water ceremony, as part of celebrations of the Epiphany day at the Church of Fener Orthodox Patriarchate (6 January 2015)Getty Images
In Greece, some Christians celebrate by jumping into a freezing river to catch a wooden cross
Thousands of adherents to the Ethiopian Orthodox Faith arrive in the Ethiopian city of Lalibela to observe Orthodox Christmas (06 January 2015)Getty Images
Thousands of people in Ethiopia come together to celebrate Christmas
A Russian monk attaches a Christmas tree branch to an icon inside a church in a compound of Uspensky male monastery, during preparations for the Christmas night serviceReuters
This Russian monk attached a Christmas tree branch to a picture of Mary and Jesus
Believers burn dried oak branches, which symbolizes the Yule log, on Orthodox Christmas Eve in front of the St. Sava temple in Belgrade, SerbiaReuters
In Serbia, people held a ceremony burning a Yule log
Armenian people attend mass at a church as they celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Dohuk provinceReuters
Lots of people attended Christmas services at Orthodox churches in Armenia
Worshippers walk in front of the Holy Trinity Cathedral during midnight Christmas service in Tbilisi, GeorgiaReuters
Churches in Georgia were lit up to celebrate the day