They combine old traditions of Ukraine, European celebrations as well as universal festivities. Some children might be given gifts on December 19, the Ukrainian St. Nicholas Day, while others must wait until Christmas Eve for holiday present-opening. два' Veseloho Rizdva (Merry Christmas) or 'Христос Рождається' Khrystos Rozhdayetsia (Christ is Born). Sviaty Vechir, or Holy Evening, is the Ukrainian Christmas Eve that takes place on January 6. ... Vertep (in Ukrainian) is original, national heritage of our people. The room where Sviata Vecheria is eaten normally has a Didukh decoration placed in it. Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve (January 6.) Caroling is also a part of Ukrainian Christmas traditions. In Ukrainian tradition, Santa Claus is known either as St. Nicholas (Svyatyy Mykolay, also spelled Sviatyij Mykolai) or Father Frost (Did Moroz). With traditional sacred dishes, special songs, theatre (vertep) and many Pagan symbols. 10 Ukrainian holidays and traditions. Ukraine celebrates Christmas on January 7 in accordance with the Eastern Orthodox religious calendar, although New Year's Eve tends to be a more important holiday and, in fact, the Christmas tree that is decorated on Independence Square in Kiev doubles as a New Year's tree. Christmas food traditions for Sviata Vecheria. RECOMMENDED Christmas in Guatemala - Unique Traditions to Know About hristmas Traditions in Ukraine. Ukrainian Christmas celebrations are one-of-a-kind. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Songs. Many Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine observe the Christmas Day date from the Julian calendar, which is different from the more com… The sheaf is called a didukh. © Copyright 2000 - 2021 James Cooper | About the site | Cookies & Privacy | Site Map | Other Links | Support | Website logistics by LetterBlock | Proud Affiliate of the Merry Network, whychristmas?com answers your Christmas questions! Some families’ traditions and Christmas songs hearken to pre-World War II ones preserved by their families and churches, while other families arrived with traditions that had evolved, or were slightly different in their Ukrainian context, or had been reinvented or recovered after the fall of the Soviet Union. Vareniki is a traditional Ukrainian dish and for sure can be named the favourite one of the locals. The homes are decorated with sparkling lights, paper snowflakes, varicolored glass balls, garlands and coniferous wreathes. While many of the Ukrainian Christmas Eve customs are of a solemn nature, the custom of caroling is joyful and merry. Many Canadian and American families wear their Ukrainian embroidered shirts go outside as soon as it start getting dark in the afternoon to try and spot the first star. - www.whychristmas.com, The Christmas Service in Saint Sophia, Kiev, via Wikimedia Commons, Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages, the journey of the Wise Men to find Jesus. Many Ukrainian Christmas traditions are based on pre-Christian Pagan customs. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas festivities start on Christmas Eve, which is celebrated on 6 January, as reckoned by the Julian calendar. : Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar as in most of other Orthodox Christian countries.. During the Soviet time it was not officially celebrated in Ukraine. Ukrainian Christmas is meatless because they have a traditional belief that on this day Jesus Christ was born. Christmas for many Ukrainians is an important family holiday. Christmas in Ukraine is a family holiday when all the relatives gather together. The Polish Christmas traditions are very similar to the Ukrainian ones, with the meatless Christmas Eve dinner, the midnight Liturgy “Pasterka”, and the caroling for friends and family.One of the differences is the use of an unleavened wafer with honey, to share at the dinner table, rather than the “kolach” bread that the Ukrainians use. Ukrainian Christmas Traditions In most climates where all four seasons are experienced, winter is a time to hunker down and retreat inside for warmth. Tradition on a Plate - Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper - Book. Traditionally, Ukraine is an Eastern Orthodox country, meaning they practice the customs and traditions of the Orthodox Catholic Church. With Christmas as a primary holiday during the winter seasons, Ukrainians come together to visit with family and friends. Reply ucymb wrote @ December 10, 2015 at 10:14 am. Narrated by Oleg Baranovsky. Ukraine's Santa Claus is called Did Moroz (Father Frost) or Svyatyy Mykolay (Saint Nicholas). It literally means 'grandfather spirit' and can represent people's ancestors being with them in their memories. The golden-domed St. Sophia's Cathedral, with 11th-century mosaics and frescoes, is a draw for visitors to Kiev and Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter are celebrated with age-old traditions. Kerry Kubilius is a freelance writer who specializes in Eastern European history, culture, current events, language, and travel. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria (Holy Supper) brings the family together to partake in special foods and begin the holiday with many … Twelve dishes symbolize the 12 apostles. Probably, that is why there are many Ukrainian holidays. There might also be someone who carries a pole topped with a star, symbolizing the star of Bethlehem, a Christmas custom that makes its appearance in other countries as well. Reply Emily minski wrote @ December 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm. They contain no meat, dairy or animal fat, though fish, such as herring, can be served. These are called made of paper and silver wire, called 'pavuchky' (which means 'little spider'). Borscht and holubtsi are very well known dishes from Ukraine. Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper - Sviata Vecheria - Book. Ukrainians are primarily Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar. Ukrainians normally do not exchange gifts on Christmas, since they already received gifts from St. Nicholas on December 6th, but in the Diaspora, the children receive small gifts from St. Nicholas, and then again additional gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve after dinner and caroling are all done, but before the midnight liturgy, which everyone is obligated, and encouraged, to attend. The most colourful part of Ukrainian Christmas traditions is the actual Christmas Eve, or “Sviatay Vechir”, which revolves around the twelve course Lenten supper. Kolyadka), and … Things to Do for Christmas in Northern Virginia, Plan Your Christmas Vacation to Eastern Europe, Discover How the Poles Celebrate Christmas, Celebrate Christmas Italian Styles at These City Events, Santa Claus in Eastern Europe Goes by Many Names, A Visitor's Guide to Russian Christmas Traditions, Have a Rockin' Christmas in New Orleans This Holiday Season, These Traditions Will Help You Celebrate a Croatian-Style Christmas, Slovenia's Christmas Traditions and Decorations, Discover Russian Traditions, Holidays, and Festivals. Growing up, my family and I always referred to the Christian holidays as either “English Christmas” or “Ukrainian Christmas” and “English Easter” or “Ukrainian Easter.” The reason for this is because Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated on January 7, and Easter is frequently celebrated on a different day from the rest of the world. An interesting aspect of Christmas in Ukraine is the bringing of a wheat sheaf into the house as a reminder of the ancestors and the long tradition of agriculture in Ukraine. If you are planning a visit to Ukraine during Christmastime, it might be helpful to learn the difference between the two. and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. After Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, Christmas Day was made a public holiday. Hanna Picklyk with Oserodok shares some of the traditions linking Ukrainians together while far apart during the pandemic. On the 6th of January all the family is usually gathered around the table. So people (especially the hungry ones!) Songs & Music "Boh Predvichnyj - God of Ages" Ukrainian Christmas Carol. Traditional caroling involves a whole cast of characters that includes a person dressed as a shaggy animal and someone to carry the bag that is filled with the rewards collected in return for the songs the band of carolers sings. and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. There is also a perception that Ukrainian dishes are all based around pork or fish, but this is not the case. The main Christmas meal, called 'Sviata Vecheria' (or Holy Supper) is … On the night of January 6 to 7, Ukrainians celebrate one of the biggest religious holiday - Christmas. One of the dishes is traditionally kutya, an ancient dish made from wheat, poppy seeds, and nuts, a dish that is shared by all family members. In parts of western Ukraine, Christmas Trees are often decorated with artificial spider's webs because of the story of The Christmas Spider. Hay might be brought into the house to remind those gathered of the manger in which Christ was born, and believers may attend church services that night or early Christmas morning. The Ukrainian Traditions be they Christmas or Easter are so very special to me and my family. Sometimes people use some heads of wheat in a vase rather than a whole sheaf of wheat. Ukrainian Christmas songs or carols have their origins in antiquity, as do many other traditions practiced at Christmas time. The evening on the eve of this holiday is called Christmas Eve and has many interesting traditions. What's Different About Christmas in Bulgaria? During this week people often dress up in traditional clothes (Vyshyvanka), visit their relatives, sing Christmas carols (e.g. While many carols are Christian in nature, still others contain pagan elements or recall Ukraine's history and legends. The 700 Club examines the traditions of Christmas from Ukraine. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. When Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union, Christmas Day was not a public holiday but Christmas traditions were not forgotten. Other dishes can include mushrooms, sauerkraut, red ‘borsch’ (beet soup), dumplings known as 'varenyky' (Pierogi), 'holopchi' (cabbage rolls, make without meat in them at Christmas! Since ancient times Ukrainians have followed such rules - you shouldn’t eat anything all day, and only late in the afternoon, when the first star appears in the sky, you can start dinner. Ukrainian people are open-hearted and friendly. According to the Ukrainian tradition, the whole family gathers at one table during the Christmas Eve dinner. Ukrainian Christmas songs or carols have their origins in antiquity, as do many other traditions practiced at Christmas time. As such, they celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Jan. 6 and 7, two weeks behind the Gregorian calendar. You can't start eating the meal until the first star is seen in the sky. It’s located at 1221 West Villard Street in Dickinson, North Dakota. Ukrainian Christmas will be in the house on January 7th each year. Ukraine has a special connection with St. Nicholas, and the figures of Saint Nicholas and Did Moroz are closely associated—when you visit Ukraine, you might notice how many churches are named after this saint associated with gift-giving. How do Ukrainians celebrate Christmas? At present times most of people have adopted European Christmas traditions. In Ukrainian Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Веселого Різдва' Veseloho Rizdva (Merry Christmas) or 'Христос Рождається' Khrystos Rozhdayetsia (Christ is Born). Guide to Christmas traditions in Ukraine. After the meal, people love to sing carols or 'Koliadky'. Making paper snowflakes to put on the tree or in windows are a popular decoration. The meal normally has 12 dishes which represent Jesus's 12 disciples. So as it is a very auspicious day did not consume meat. It is a kind of dumpling with filling that you may find at many feasts. First of all, she performs a magical action and gets "new fire." Their Christmas traditions are unique and can be traced back to ancient times, although, the Ukrainians now, follow their ancestral traditions with a … "Yes we do have some national traditions and family traditions for the Christmas days. SVIATA VECHERA OR "HOLY SUPPER"is the central tradition of the beautiful Christmas Eve celebrations in Ukrainian homes. St Nicholas (known as Svyatyi Mykolai) visits children in Ukraine on December 19th which is also when Ukraine celebrates St Nicholas's Day. The period from January 7 to January 14 is a festive week in Ukraine. Ukrainian Christmas Eve is the last meatless meal of Advent as it is in Russia, Poland, and other Slavic countries. Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve ([G]Dec.24; [J]Jan.6.) During Soviet rule, Christmas was downsized in Ukraine, so now many families are returning to the tradition and the holiday grows more and more festive every year. Traditionally people fast (don't eat anything) all day but you might start the day drinking some holy water that has been blessed at church. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. While many carols are Christian in nature, still others contain pagan elements or recall Ukraine's history and legends. The Didukh is a made from a sheaf of wheat and symbolises the large wheat fields in Ukraine. Ukrainians Celebrate With Food, Family, and Wheat. Everything has so much meaning. People sometimes carry brightly colored stars on poles when they go caroling singing. Caroling is also a part of Ukrainian Christmas traditions. They set a festive table with 12 traditional dishes (like the apostles), sing Christmas songs, remember all the good things that happened in the past year, and wish each other health and happiness. The Ukrainian yalynka (Christmas tree) is of particular interest for Westerners, for its odd decorations often referred to as “creepy.” But the story behind the traditional spiders and spider webs that adorn the Ukrainian Christmas tree is one of hope and joy. However, we have special holidays celebrated only in our country and are not well-known around the world. How well do you know Ukrainian Christmas traditions? Traditionally the dishes don't have any meat, eggs or milk in them. The main Christmas meal, called 'Sviata Vecheria' (or Holy Supper) is eaten on Christmas Eve (6th January). The dinner table sometimes has a few wisps of hay on the embroidered table cloth as a reminder of the manger in Bethlehem. 12 Meatless Dishes on Christmas Eve. 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