Christmas in Russia is different from Christmas celebrated in the rest of the world. For starters, they are celebrated on January 7, rather than on December 25. The date is different because the Russian Orthodox church uses the old Julian calendar for religious celebration days, and Christmas is mainly a religious event in Russia. Many orthodox Christians also avoid meat and fish during the 40-day Lent period preceding Christmas Day. The Lent period ends with the rise of the first star in the night sky on January 6. That day, many Christians go to the church to attend several long services including Christmas liturgy. Evening is time for family and friends and sumptuous dinners.