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PARMA -- Monday is Christmas in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Parishioners gathered atSt. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral here to celebrate.

Many Orthodox Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas Day on or near Jan. 7 in the Gregorian calendar. This date coincides with Dec. 25 in theJulian calendar, which pre-dates the Gregorian calendar.

It is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the son of God.

WKYC Photojournalist Mike Greene brings you photos from St. Vladimir's celebration.

Many Orthodox Christianseat 12 meatless dishes, traditionally, on the night before Christmas.

Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas Day with various traditions. For example, many churches light a small fire of blessed palms and burn frankincense to commemorate the three wise men's -- also known as Magi -- gifts to baby Jesus.

While not a national holiday in the United States,parking and traffic around Orthodox Christian churches may be busy around this time of the year.

For many Orthodox Christians, Christmas Day is not about presents, eggnog or Christmas characters that have become popular through commercialization.

Christmas Day is a time to heal the soul. It is also a time of peace and unity. White cloth is used on dinner tables in some countries to symbolize purity and the cloth that baby Jesus was wrapped in.

Straw may be placed on these tables to symbolize the simplicity of the place where Jesus was born. Candles may be lit to represent the light of Christ.

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