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’.
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 .