The Russian Orthodox Church announced this week that it was evaluating a proposal to move the date of Christmas from 7 January to 15 May. Officials cited increased issues with access to holy sites in the Middle East around the December/January time frame.
In a statement from Patriarch Kirill’s office the church stated, “we will be undertaking a consultation with the faithful about moving the birth of Jesus to 15 May in order to give us more access to sites in the Holy Land to celebrate his birth. The date has been chosen because it falls outside peak season for flights and better weather means a pilgrimage can be scheduled alongside a nice holiday in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat”.
Explaining the decision in more detail Metropolitan Alexei, spokesman for the church, said, “we’ve been mulling this move for some time. Have you seen the crushes at the Church of the Nativity on 25 December? That shit is crazy and we just don’t have time to clean up properly before the real Christmas Day on 7 January.
“We’re hoping that the faithful will have no problems with us moving things to May – it’s a great time of year for a holiday. After all everyone knows Christ wasn’t born in the middle of winter and we just made it Christmas then because it fitted with the holidays of the pagans that us Christians were keen to kill off at the time before returning to slaughtering each other.”
The Russian church has acknowledged that one of the obstacles to moving festivities will be the agreement of the other churches to allow them access to sites in May. “You know what the Greeks, Roman Catholics and Armenians can be like. They’re pretty nutty when it comes to religion. But we’ve spoke to the Anglicans and they seem cool with it,” Alexei concluded.