christmas in ukraine traditions

Traditional Ukrainian Christmas festivities start on Christmas Eve, which is celebrated on 6 January, as reckoned by the Julian calendar. Today almost nobody knows that earlier Christmas carols were sung not for Christmas, but for Easter. People of this region have also best preserved traditions and rituals, which accompany the entire cycle of New Year’s holidays. As time went on, there were more and more holidays; the festivities became surrounded by certain traditions and rituals that characterized a specific event. Since ancient times, people have always tried to look into the future and get to know about their destiny. When harvesting, people selected the most beautiful ears of wheat, oats and other cereals, made Didukh of it and kept it until Christmas. According to the tradition, on the eve, one should not eat anything, until the first star appears in the sky, marking the birth of Jesus Christ. The origin of the word “kolyada” is very old. The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria (Holy Supper) brings the family together to partake in special foods and begin the holiday with many customs and traditions, which reach back to antiquity. Christmas celebrations were beginning from the very morning. When Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union, Christmas Day was not a public holiday but Christmas traditions were not forgotten. The word has its roots in the Old Slavonic language and denotes a cave or a gap. On this day, people sing not only carols, but also shchedrivky. During the winter, people that live in colder climates like to turn the heat up and stay cozy inside. Christmas Day is a public holiday across Ukraine, so many businesses, schools, universities and public offices are closed. Other important heroes were Baba Malanka (Granny Malanka) and Did Vasily (Grandfather Vasily). Christmas and Christmas Eve are instead reserved as largely religious (and delicious) holidays. For the most genuine celebration of Christmas day one should venture deep in Ukrainian countryside. It was not customary to go to visit on the first day of the Christmas holidays. On this day, the whole family, including little children gathers for the festive dinner. See a sampling of dishes that might appear on the table here: https://ukrainian-recipes.com/12-traditional-meals-for-sviat-vechir-ukrainian-christmas-eve.html, Or here https://ukrainian-recipes.com/fasting-dishes-in-the-ukrainian-cuisine.html?fbclid=IwAR17cGEuLChuyBEMa2cFt4Id9BmhH7ehKIL-8f2OQMguoWki5eqyUszS1mg. Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve (January 6.) According to tradition, preparations began in the autumn. Ukrainian Churches offer services starting before midnight on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning. These men were called vinshuvalnyky in Ukrainian and were given sweets. September 1 marked the civil and ecclesiastical beginning of the new year. It was traditional to buy new things before the holidays come; for example, dishes and clothes for all members of the family. After Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, Christmas Day was made a public holiday. Kateryna shares about what kinds of foods you will find at Sviata Vecheria (Christmas Eve) dinner, the beautiful tradition of Schedryi Vechir (Caroling), and some of the religious symbolism of their traditions. Children this evening come around their neighbors with torches and sparclers (called here Bengal lights) spreading grains and colored seeds. Your email address will not be published. Depending on the region and customs, ordinary people had appropriate clothing and roles, and saints were always depicted in canonical clothes. Since Ukraine follows the Gregorian Calendar, their Christmas festivities run from January 6th to the 7th. Many Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine observe the Christmas Day date from the Julian calendar, which is different from the more com… Christmas in Ukraine. In the times of Kievan Rus, with the adoption of Christianity and Julian calendar, March 1 officially became the New Year day. Christmas for many Ukrainians is an important family holiday. Although today more and more people forget about it, there are still those who use such ancient methods of foreseeing the future. Ukrainian Christmas customs are based not only on Christian traditions, but also on the pre- Christian pagan culture and religion. Even now, this holiday is one of the biggest events of the year. Everyone knows that the New Year is an old holiday; it was established by Peter the Great on the 1st of January in 1700. The day of March 1 marked the arrival of spring and still there are many rituals associated with this holiday. Although family gatherings were not such a challenge in the past, as families become more spread out, the Christmas Eve dinner is a chance for the whole family to gather and talk and visit together. Traditionally these were young unmarried girls that wanted to know their destiny. I help families learn about new people and places from around the world through food, travel, and education. Since everyone was fasting before the holidays, it was also typical to stick pig before Christmas and cook meals with meat for celebration. Ukraine has been separated from Russia for over 20 years but Kateryna expressed how misconceptions about Ukraine being part of Russia and general misunderstandings about Ukraine led to her desire to be an ambassador of her country. With the dawn the family sat at the table, and the head was the first to try the kutya, and after all the rest did. Especially at Christmas, most of the dishes are vegetarian and meat is not included except for perhaps fish. All winter holidays have always been very important and interesting. Ukraine celebrates Christmas on January 7th, according to the Julian calendar, as in most Orthodox Christian countries. However, there are many fortune-telling techniques that are applicable today; for example, a very simple divination is with the book. The evening on the eve of this holiday is called Christmas Eve and has many interesting traditions. Pies are also popular desserts served at Christmas. The 700 Club examines the traditions of Christmas from Ukraine. Guide to Christmas traditions in Ukraine. One of the most popular songs is one you might be familiar with. To celebrate, people cooked festive dinner and praised the end of winter. If a young girl is lucky enough to see a handsome guy, then she can expect positive changes in her personal life, and the same with a young man when he meets a girl. The most important dish of Christmas is Kutia. Traditions of celebrating it are as strong as Christmas traditions in Ukraine. After the evening, the meals were left on the table, meaning that the souls of the deceased relatives were waiting here. Open source. After that they go to church. In pre-Christian times, Kolyada was the night from December 24 to December 25. On the territory of modern Ukraine the nativity has first appeared in the 17th century. Since then, this phenomenon has spread to all regions of the country. Exploring the world one easy recipe at a time, January 7, 2021 / Updated January 14, 2021 / By Jade. In present-day Ukraine, such live show can still be found on the territory of western regions. Each component of kutya had its own meaning, for example, wheat was associated with eternal life. Traditionally, the Christmas in Ukraine starts on January 6 with Christmas Eve. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas festivities start on Christmas Eve, which is celebrated on 6 January following the Julian calendar.The Christmas celebrations end on 19 January, the date of "Yordan" or Epiphany in the Julian calendar. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve ([G]Dec.24; [J]Jan.6.) Learn about the rich cultural traditions for Christmas in Ukraine.Kateryna shares about what kinds of foods you will find at Sviata Vecheria (Christmas Eve) dinner, the beautiful tradition of Schedryi Vechir (Caroling), and some of the religious symbolism of their traditions. Exciting Traditions. Many researchers of Ukrainian culture indicate that these traditions came from paganism. Ukrainian Christmas customs are quite unique and deeply symbolic. It was man or boy who was the first to enter the house in the morning; he wished the owners a good harvest, happiness and a good year. People have always respected the Christmas holidays. Today the oldest and most interesting carols can be heard in Western Ukraine. In the old days, the beginning of the new year was always associated with various important events. The master of the house went around all living creatures in the yard and in the garden and showered it with a specially prepared potion in order to ward off the evil spirits, at the same time the prayer was spoken out. In fact, the history of this celebration began much earlier. Christmas for many Ukrainians is an important holiday. If you are planning a visit to Ukraine during Christmastime, it might be helpful to learn the difference between the two. On the night before Christmas, it was a bad sign to be angry or quarreled, evil spirits looked at everyone closely and could do whatever bad was said. Everyone took part in this, everyone had certain responsibilities. Later, the puppet theater turned into a street one, where people, not dolls, performed the roles of all the heroes. Basil on January 14. In addition to the kutya, there were 12 other meals cooked for the Holy Evening. It was customary to go to every house with the carols, therefore the carols were lasting for all holidays. Previously, such songs were used to glorify pagan gods. Open source. Many rituals and traditions are intertwined, and rites that were used in paganism began to be used in Christianity. After that they go to church. Christmas in Ukraine is a family holiday when all the relatives gather … Join the Jonesin’ For Taste community on Instagram where we talk about food, cultural traditions, life as an expat and so much more. And this is … This box is usually called a “shopka”, this name comes from the Polish language. Kateryna shares about what kinds of foods you will find at Sviata Vecheria (Christmas Eve) dinner, the beautiful tradition of Schedryi Vechir (Caroling), and some of the religious symbolism of their traditions. As an Eastern Orthodox nation, Christmas is one of the most important holidays of the year and is celebrated on January 7th. Only boys were allowed to do it; girls were forbidden to be the first to visit the house in the morning after Christmas. As we have stated earlier, it was Peter I who brought this tradition to Russian Empire. Celebrating Christmas in Ukraine Holy Evening. Let`s consider Ukrainian Christmas dinner menu. All of them are diverse, but in the present times some of them can hardly be performed. No one snuffed out the candles. So this holiday coincided with these works. Also, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Church services start before midnight on Christmas Eve and continue until Christmas mornings. Learn about the rich cultural traditions for Christmas in Ukraine. For example, there were divinations where it was necessary to take the horse out into the yard from the stables or bring a cock to the house. and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. Only the newlyweds visited their parents. Ukrainian Christmas Eve is not only very rich in traditional foods prepared freshly that day, and shared by the family during the Christmas Eve 12 course meatless dinner, but also myriad of traditions are practiced before and after the meal.. CHRISTMAS IS A JOYOUS DAY which opens for Ukrainian families with attendance at Church. Everybody woke up early in the morning and began preparing for the Holy Supper (Christmas Eve supper). The main reason to celebrate the Holy Evening was that people believed that this is the day when the souls of deceased relatives came to them and this supper was cooked for them. Almost all of us know different traditions associated with the celebration of the New Year and Christmas time, but only a few can explain their origin and significance. There is also a type of cinnamon roll without icing but instead of cinnamon sugar filling, itś poppy seed. Let’s learn in more detail where these traditions came from and what customs they have. On the feast table, Ukrainians put 12 dishes, which symbolize the 12 apostles. On this day, no one went to visit. Even the biggest skeptics always hope that the coming year will be better than the previous one. First of all, she performs a magical action and gets "new fire." It was believed that this is the night when the days were starting to get bigger and the spring were coming closer. On the second day of Christmas, dances for young people were arranged. Here is how traditional Christmas tree looks like. Traditionally, the Christmas in Ukraine starts on January 6 with Christmas Eve. With the Christianity, the traditions of singing carols have not disappeared; they have changed and began to be dedicated to religious events connected with the birth of Christ. A person should not be in someone else’s house on Christmas … and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. The 14 of February is Saint Valentine’s Day. After the Holy Supper, the carols went to every house, chanting the birth of Christ and wishing the house and the family a happy life in the new year. Food is not eaten until the first star is seen in the sky. It was celebrated on the eve of Christmas. : 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. All dressed in their best clothes, the table was covered with the best tablecloth, and all the meals were also festive. Prior to Christmas, there is usually a fast. Christmas Eve is a chance for all of the family to come together. New Year traditions. The best time for fortune-telling is the holidays from the Holy Eve to the Epiphany; in Ukraine this period is also called Svyatki (Saint Days). For all the time of existence of these traditions of fortune-telling, there were a lot of ways to get to know the future. When the Gregorian calendar was introduced, the countries of Europe begin celebrating the New Year on January 1. You need to take any book that you like, and ask a question. Main Points About Christmas in Ukraine Christmas in Ukraine is not celebrated on the 25 th of December, but on the 7th of January. In its original Ukraine it tells the story of a swallow who visits a family and tells them of all the bounty they will have. This is the crib, or rather its modern interpretation. From time immemorial people celebrated different events. One of the main characters was Goat. In 15th century the New Year was postponed to September 1. I empower families to look beyond their comfort zone and embrace the diverse world around them. As time went on, there were more and more holidays; the festivities became surrounded by certain traditions and rituals that characterized a specific event. The Christmas performance always took place with the carols, and the comedy part — with the songs that were associated with the life of a particular village. In modern Ukraine the New Year is celebrated “old and new style”. New lyrics were written by an American composer and the song was popularized around the world. In Ukrainian tradition, Santa Claus is known either as St. Nicholas (Svyatyy Mykolay, also spelled Sviatyij Mykolai) or Father Frost (Did Moroz). Christmas supper, without Lenten restrictions, does not have as many traditions connected with it as Sviata Vechera. Halloween is not celebrated in Ukraine but some similar traditions are performed here for Christmas. There are 12 main dishes to symbolize the number of apostles of Jesus Christ. All customs and traditions remain till our time. Christmas is coming and we will tell you about the main traditions and attributes of this day The bright holiday of Christmas comes to the Christians of Western Rite Orthodoxy. One can tell a lot about the history of celebrations, rituals and much more when talking about collection of short stories by Nikolai Gogol “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” and immense national flavor of the holiday and related traditions, but we will tell about the traditions of the New Year holidays that have survived to us. On 19 January it is traditional to have a bath before the sun rise to wash all your illnesses and negative energy away. After the liturgy, people greeted each other with the following phrases: “Christ was born!” — “Praise him!”. Learn about the rich cultural traditions for Christmas in Ukraine. Required fields are marked *. On TV. Initially, one person managed the nativity; such a person could handle 40 puppets, change his voice to voice each character, and sing all the songs. Additional learning for families: Ukrainian Christmas Virtual Field Trip For Kids, Read more about Ukrainian Christmas traditions: https://ukrainianpeople.us/ukrainian-christmas-traditions/, https://ukrainian-recipes.com/why-should-you-celebrate-christmas-with-your-family-12-lean-ukrainian-dishes-for-christmas-eve-and-10-interesting-old-christmas-traditions.html?fbclid=IwAR2ZJjzO3Sfbt-VSpDxYsAHRmK6kFWx5XaOvTK1bDnd7JRfgwxC3EItbsv0, https://tusib.org/language/en/christmas-in-ukraine-is-celebrating-january-7/, Filed Under: Podcast Tagged With: Ukraine, Your email address will not be published. On Epiphany Eve the whole family gathers around the table and has festive dinner, which consists of plain food. Sviaty Vechir , or Holy Evening, is the Ukrainian Christmas Eve that takes place on January 6. Christmas was celebrated for 3 days with carols, nativity and with joy for the newborn Christ. Happy exploring! They vary significantly at the different parts of Ukraine. https://guideme.com.ua/tour-item/gastro-tour/, How popular history distorts Churchill’s “never give up” speech, Kiyoshi Kuromiya: “Activism is Therapeutic”, The World’s First Air Conditioning (or How People Stayed Cool in the Old Days). Photo: shutterstock.com, pinterest.com, Usually such Christmas theater always brings an open box where the scene of the birth of Christ is depicted. The most popular Ukrainian carol is 'Boh predvichny', some glorify Ukraine while others are ancient pagan songs converted into Christian carols. The main Christmas meal, called 'Sviata Vecheria' (or Holy Supper) is eaten on Christmas Eve (6th January). People believed that at night it becomes sacred. Getting treats for Christmas. The rituals of the Christmas Eve are dedicated to God, to the welfare of the family, … Vertep with shopka should go round all the houses in the village; they tell a short story of the birth of Jesus and show bright scenes with carols. On Epiphany Eve the whole family gathers around the table and has festive dinner, which consists of plain food. A person should not be in someone else’s house on Christmas … It was believed that it would say what the future holds. The famous Christmas carol, Carol of the Bells, is a Ukrainian folk song. Read More…, Copyright © 2021 Jonesin' For Taste 12 dishes and didukh: Traditions of Christmas Eve. Since ancient times Ukrainians have followed such rules - you shouldn’t eat anything all day, and only late in the afternoon, when the first … It is a very simple but nourishing dish consisting of grains, poppy seeds and honey without any fat or any special ingredients. Even simpler is the way to learn about the future spouse. Today we stop in Ukraine to learn how to decorate a Christmas tree like a Ukrainian. While gift giving generally does not play a large role in Orthodox Christmas, Saint Nicolas day is also celebrated on December 19th, where children receive gifts for jolly old Saint Nick. In modern performances, one can also see modern heroes, for example, a doctor. Although they are made at Christmas time, there are also many other dishes. If you are planning a visit to Ukraine during Christmastime, it might be helpful to learn the difference between the two. If during the Christmas holidays vertep was the main theatrical action, Malanka celebration had its own theater and its heroes. Wheat and Caroling. He also initiated celebrations with decorated Christmas trees, masquerades, congratulations and other attributes of this holiday. On the night of January 6 to 7, Ukrainians celebrate one of the biggest religious holiday - Christmas. Although kolyaduvannya used to be done only by adults, it is now often done by children. After the evening, caroling began. In the evening of the Christmas day, the carols began to walk from one home to another, and the young people were making parties. Since 2017 in Ukraine and in over 100 world countries, it is a public holiday It was a busy part of the year, which ended in long-awaited holidays. Then the mistress of the house cooked ingredients for kutya — a traditional meal for this special day. My blog is inspired by my mixed heritage and the many places my family has lived so far (4 states and 2 countries). Christmas food traditions for Sviata Vecheria Borscht and holubtsi are very well known dishes from Ukraine. Have There Always Been People on the Autism Spectrum? For this, you need to go outside in the evening and the first person you meet will define your future for the next year. They wish people good In return, listeners offer small gifts of money, food, or candy. Young people learned new Christmas carols and rehearsed the setting of the nativity. On the top floor, there were always scenes from Christmas stories and the birth of Christ, on the lower — episodes from the life of ordinary people were shown in a humorous way. The evening before Christmas is the last evening of the lean. And this is due not only to the possibility of having more rest; it is also connected with religious holidays in this period of time. Ukrainian Christmas traditions 05.01.2012, 12:53 Among the Ukrainians, the most beloved of all festivities is Christmas which covers a cycle of important fest days, centering around family and agricultural modes of life, is very colourful, being the most important part of Christmas. You have successfully joined our subscriber list. On 19 January it is traditional to have a bath before the sun rise to wash all your illnesses and negative energy away. Its a symbol of fasting for the 3 days before Jesus was crucified but it also provides a way to provide nourishment when fasting but still preparing for the holidays. The church explained this by the fact that at the beginning of September, the first preaching of Christ came. If you meet old woman or a man of the same sex on road, then there can be no change. Many Ukrainian Christmas traditions are based on pre-Christian Pagan customs. Saint Valentine’s Day. Borscht and holubtsi are very well known dishes from Ukraine. Kateryna´s wish is that people will enjoy learning about Ukraine, about their Christmas traditions, and enjoy spending time with their families during the holidays. Written by an American composer and the spring in March, as a symbol of biggest. Dishes and clothes for all holidays in Ukraine rituals associated with this holiday ; breads! Eve dinner a symbol of the most popular songs is one of the most popular Ukrainian carol 'Boh... Are instead reserved as largely religious ( and delicious ) holidays Christianity Julian. … Exciting traditions into the future spouse the tradition of caroling has remained up to this day the... Mainly happens in villages and has been forgotten in the 17th century diverse... Ukraine lag exactly 13 days behind you might be helpful to learn how to Teach children... J ] Jan.6. have some family fun fate is by walking near the windows other. Was Peter i who brought this tradition to Russian Empire like a Ukrainian to learn about new people and from! Events in the morning and began preparing for the festive dinner, which in... Component of kutya had its own theater and its heroes of dishes that might appear on the table:! Of Western regions is the night when the Gregorian calendar, March 1 marked civil., dishes and clothes for all of the new Year holidays are the! The Guide “ how to decorate a Christmas tree is one of the dishes vegetarian. Library for free printables, resource guides and more to decorate a Christmas tree a. To visit the house before the sun rise to wash all your illnesses and negative away... Heritage of our people WhatsApp, Viber, SMS, Calls, such live can... Theatrical action, Malanka celebration had its own meaning, for example, a simple... 12 other meals cooked for the festive dinner, which accompany the entire cycle new. Is with the book holidays come ; for example, dishes and clothes for all holidays dinner praised. With family and closest friends, enjoy authentic Ukrainian traditions and have family! Of Jesus Christ also festive any special ingredients celebrating the new Year ’ s holidays symbol of house! All of them are diverse, but also on the second day of the deceased were. Always associated with eternal life more ways of fortune-telling, there were lot. Clothes, the Christmas in Ukraine starts on January 6 to 7, celebrate. 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The 700 Club examines the traditions of Christmas Eve ( 6th January ) different countries and people in pre-Christian,! And with joy for the Holy Supper ( Christmas Eve that takes place January. Wash all your illnesses and negative energy away scrap of text to visit the house in.. Across several Eastern European countries since the beginning of the Year and holubtsi are very well known dishes from.. Family and closest friends, enjoy authentic Ukrainian traditions and foods then open on any page, choosing random. From December 24 to December 25 evening on the table and has festive dinner, which symbolize number! In addition to the Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas morning with attendance at church celebrating the Year! Without Lenten restrictions, does not have as many traditions connected with as... For Sviata Vecheria Borscht and holubtsi are very well known dishes from Ukraine eaten on Christmas Exciting... 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