I get asked almost every year since I left my awesome home country, what’s your Christmas plan and I have patiently tried explaining that we use different calendar here in Ukraine for instance Ukraine does not celebrate Christmas on 25th like the westerners but 13 days later which is on 7th of January every year.
Hence I have a day being the 25th only as holiday and classes continue as normal but this year was suprisingly different in Ukraine universities and I was low key happy.
Ukraine is one of the largest countries located in eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the north-east; Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west; and Romania, Moldova, and the Black Sea to the south. It’s official language is Ukrainian but some parts like the part I live in speak Russian .
Being an eastern orthodox European country, she still practices the customs and traditions of Orthodox Catholic Church.
Every 7th of January, Ukrainians celebrate Christmas according to Orthodox calendar while Christmas eve is always on the January 6th every year when A candle in the window encourages and welcomes those without families to join in the Christmas celebration.
However, the Christmas Eve dinner is not served until the first star appears in the sky, signifying the journey of three kings and these dishes served during the eve is without meat (for someone who loves every meal with meat, I am once more grateful to be African) .
Just like the westerners have Father Christmas/Santa Claus, Ukraine has Ded Moroz (Father Frost) that is assisted by Snowflake Girl who wears a silver blue costume trimmed with white fur and a snowflake-like crown or Svyatyy Mykolay (Saint Nicholas).
Ukraine is believed to have a special connection with St. Nicholas and the figures of Saint Nicholas and Ded Moroz are closely associated that when one visits Ukraine, one might find it interesting how many churches are named after this saint associated with gift-giving.
Ukraine has a rich old tradition known as caroling. Like in many countries, here too many young people or church members visit houses singing carols to collect donations. Some of these carols eulogize Ukraine while others are ancient pagan songs converted into Christian carols. The most popular carol here is ‘Boh Predvichny’.
This year which I believe would be my last Christmas in Ukraine, I will be joining in the tradition of singing Carol but in my house moving from loo to my bed acting like I am moving from house to house.
I want to savour each day creating memories that will serve a long time for I will definitely be missing this beautiful country that has harboured me for a while now.
This is one year, I am not sure I want it to fly so fast because I am still full of uncertainty of what next, notwithstanding a small part of me shaa wants it to fly like a bird so that I can be in real world.
Being an African that still uses western calendar, I was opportuned to have Christmas break holiday which ofcourse was paid off with Saturday class that I dislike for Saturdays have always been my me time.
On the 25th December being the first Christmas holiday I had planned to spend it with my friends turned family but we couldn’t because some of us had exam or test the following day or the same week so it didn’t make much sense having a get together but I took the day to have self reflection and prepare for an exam I sat for within the week and I got surprise visit from some members of the family which was quite touchy.
The second Christmas holiday being Orthodox Christmas I have planned to spend it in a special Christmas way but nope it has once again be shifted due to circumstances beyond my control. However I hope to blog about it someday and I am eagerly looking forward to spilling the juice.
In all of this, I do wish I have any member of my immediate or extended family(Ancient and Modern Kingdom) here or the F4 group of mine, it sure would have felt truly like Christmas.
Growing up, I used to take some Christmas holidays for granted but right now I wish I have some supernatural power to bring some of them back including the family tradition of gathering everyone together every 26th December.
One of the memories would be the last Christmas holiday I spent with my immediate family where we took part in sports like running and playing football of which my beautiful mum graciously declined joining us but prepared food for us after we had exhausted our energy running around and of course coming into the house with some bruises sustained, bruises that are considered joyful bruise * smiles nostalgically*.
It’s not like it is going to get better in terms of spending time with family based on the profession I have chosen for myself but I just wish I can be a kid again, las las this adulthood isn’t the same I thought it would be while growing up.
I honestly do miss Christmas in Nigeria my home country. Christmas outside Nigeria is never the same and if you doubt it make arrangement to spend your next Christmas in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, I am grateful that I am able to see how Christmas is celebrated in other countries and never forget Christ is still the reason for the season.
Till my next post, Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year .
True. Not everybody knows about January 7th)
Yes true. I didn’t know either till I got here. Are you Ukrainian?
Oh beautiful. Where? Maybe we could link up…
I am from Odessa, but now in US
Oh alright. Maybe when next you are in Ukraine
Sure, what city you are in?
Currently in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Never been there, but always wanted
Wow, you should consider being here. Haven’t been to Odessa too but I heard it’s a beautiful city especially in summer. Considering having mini vacay there in summer.
Nice idea, well, some day I will visit Ukraine
You guys have some rich Christmas traditions! Really love this, and I’d love to learn more!
Oh yes we do. Thanks, will post more with time.
Looks like a wonderful festive season!
Oh yes it is.
Oh Chinnaza warm wishes from Nigeria
Hahaha thank you Dear.
Warm wishes to you too
That’s really interesting! I love to hear about other traditions!
I never knew that about Christmas being celebrated on the 7th. I also love the tradition that Father Frost has a female assistant. I completely understand about missing home. America has become home, but I still hate spending holidays outside of Jamaica.
Oh didn’t know about Christmas on 7th January till I got here too. Good you’ve found another home outside Jamaica, I just keep missing mine during Christmas.
Thanks for sharing this. I really love learning about how other countries and people do things. This was very interesting and informative to read.
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