New Year and Christmas traditions in Ukraine
Winter Holidays in Ukraine
New Year and Christmas are coming and holiday season is the best time for every person all over the world when you can meet your friends, spend time with your family and be lucky to find your love. This festive time is full of magic and wonderful events that may change your life forever. Every country has its own way of Christmas and New Year celebration and if you want to find a Ukrainian wife and spend these holidays with her, you have to know Ukrainian traditions and surprise everybody with your knowledge. Mostly all Ukrainian people are Christian Orthodox and that’s why they celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January. Ukrainians honor traditions and even every family has their own traditions both on New Year and Christmas.
New Year comes before Christmas but both holidays are the most popular and the most cherished holidays in Ukraine. New Year in Ukraine is celebrated in the same way that Christmas is celebrated in other countries. People buy and decorate their Christmas tree at the end of December, they also go shopping for presents for their family and friends. New Year is considered to be a family holiday and that’s why many people visit their parents prepare dinners and start the celebration at 11 p.m. waiting till the midnight, turn on the TV and listening to the presidential speech. Prior to midnight, a bottle of champagne has to be open, a wish for the coming year has to be written on a piece of paper and when the chimes announce midnight, everybody has to burn the piece of paper with the wish, put the ash into the glass of champagne and drink it all before the clocks showing “12:01”, so your wish will come true next year. After this tradition the presents that were put under the Christmas tree earlier can be unwrapped. It’s a night for fireworks so you can enjoy the variety of lights and shapes in the sky all night long. After family party, people go to the main street where the huge city Christmas tree is situated and have fun there listening to the concerts, singing and dancing on the streets. Some people celebrate New Year night at the restaurants and night clubs where the New Year show with Santa Claus is performed. The 1st of January is also an official holiday in Ukraine so people can rest before starting their working week days till Christmas.
Christmas is the time to honor religious traditions and Christmas Eve is the last meatless meal of Advent. People go to church for confession and asking for forgiveness. The Holy Supper on the 6th of January is known as sochelnik. The word sochelnik comes from the word sochivo, also known as kutya – it is a dish that consists of boiled wheat sweetened with honey. The meal begins only after the first star is spotted in the night sky, in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem, which announced the birth of the Christ Child.
Christmas is the time when Godchildren visit their Godparents bringing them kalach – Ukrainian Christmas bread which is usually baked in the shape of plait and it shows the interlacement of related bonds. Godparents also bake or buy kalach for their Godchildren and never forget some Christmas presents too.
Besides kutya and kalach, the important part of Christmas meals is Uzvar and tangerines. Uzvar is a national Ukrainian beverage, cooked with dried fruits and berries like apples, pears, plums and raisins.
The last but not the least holiday of the first half of January is the Orthodox New Year, also known as the Old New Year, and is celebrated on January 14, which preceded the now more commonly used Gregorian calendar. This holiday is also celebrated according to family traditions but it’s another chance to meet those whom you love.
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