The Ukrainian Cultural Institute is a wonderful resource and wealth of information about Christmas traditions and this foundation culture of western, and parts of central and northeast, North Dakota. - 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. "Yes we do have some national traditions and family traditions for the Christmas days. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas decorations differ a lot from the way Ukrainian homes look nowadays. When Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union, Christmas Day was not a public holiday but Christmas traditions were not forgotten. The star represents the journey of the Wise Men to find Jesus and that Jesus has been born, so Christmas can start! The main Christmas meal, called 'Sviata Vecheria' (or Holy Supper) is eaten on Christmas Eve (6th January). The homes are decorated with sparkling lights, paper snowflakes, varicolored glass balls, garlands and coniferous wreathes. Guide to Christmas traditions in Ukraine. After Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, Christmas Day was made a public holiday. In Ukraine, Christmas celebrations begin on 2nd January and Christmas falls on 7th of January. Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper - Sviata Vecheria - Book. The most colourful part of Ukrainian Christmas traditions is the actual Christmas Eve, or “Sviatay Vechir”, which revolves around the twelve course Lenten supper. While many of the Ukrainian Christmas Eve customs are of a solemn nature, the custom of caroling is joyful and merry. They combine old traditions of Ukraine, European celebrations as well as universal festivities. 12 Meatless Dishes on Christmas Eve. ), 'pyrizhky' (cabbage buns), whitefish and 'kolach' (special Christmas bread). The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria (Holy Supper) brings the family together to partake in special foods and begin the holiday with many … 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! In parts of western Ukraine, Christmas Trees are often decorated with artificial spider's webs because of the story of The Christmas Spider. ... Vertep (in Ukrainian) is original, national heritage of our people. 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. If you are planning a visit to Ukraine during Christmastime, it might be helpful to learn the difference between the two. SVIATA VECHERA OR "HOLY SUPPER"is the central tradition of the beautiful Christmas Eve celebrations in Ukrainian homes. 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. Ukrainian Christmas songs or carols have their origins in antiquity, as do many other traditions practiced at Christmas time. Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve ([G]Dec.24; [J]Jan.6.) Christmas for many Ukrainians is an important family holiday. The Didukh is a made from a sheaf of wheat and symbolises the large wheat fields in Ukraine. While many carols are Christian in nature, still others contain pagan elements or recall Ukraine's history and legends. An extra place setting might be laid to remember someone who has died. Kerry Kubilius is a freelance writer who specializes in Eastern European history, culture, current events, language, and travel. During the Christmas holidays, the tradition of carolling is also followed. Hanna Picklyk with Oserodok shares some of the traditions linking Ukrainians together while far apart during the pandemic. Caroling is also a part of Ukrainian Christmas traditions. It’s located at 1221 West Villard Street in Dickinson, North Dakota. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. Their Christmas traditions are unique and can be traced back to ancient times, although, the Ukrainians now, follow their ancestral traditions with a … How well do you know Ukrainian Christmas traditions? 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. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Songs. два' Veseloho Rizdva (Merry Christmas) or 'Христос Рождається' Khrystos Rozhdayetsia (Christ is Born). According to the Ukrainian tradition, the whole family gathers at one table during the Christmas Eve dinner. hristmas Traditions in Ukraine. 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. Tradition on a Plate - Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper - Book. 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. 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. Vareniki is a traditional Ukrainian dish and for sure can be named the favourite one of the locals. Ukrainian Christmas is meatless because they have a traditional belief that on this day Jesus Christ was born. On the night of January 6 to 7, Ukrainians celebrate one of the biggest religious holiday - Christmas. Sometimes people use some heads of wheat in a vase rather than a whole sheaf of wheat. Probably, that is why there are many Ukrainian holidays. Kolyadka), and … They contain no meat, dairy or animal fat, though fish, such as herring, can be served. 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. While many carols are Christian in nature, still others contain pagan elements or recall Ukraine's history and legends. The Christmas celebrations end on 19 January, the date of Epiphany, or Yordan in Ukrainian, by the Julian calendar. 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! go outside as soon as it start getting dark in the afternoon to try and spot the first star. First of all, she performs a magical action and gets "new fire." Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. St Nicholas (known as Svyatyi Mykolai) visits children in Ukraine on December 19th which is also when Ukraine celebrates St Nicholas's Day. Ukrainian Christmas Eve is the last meatless meal of Advent as it is in Russia, Poland, and other Slavic countries. 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. Ukrainian people are open-hearted and friendly. 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. Everything has so much meaning. How do Ukrainians celebrate Christmas? Ukrainians are primarily Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar. Many Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine observe the Christmas Day date from the Julian calendar, which is different from the more com… 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. Many Ukrainian Christmas traditions are based on pre-Christian Pagan customs. Ukrainian Christmas Traditions In most climates where all four seasons are experienced, winter is a time to hunker down and retreat inside for warmth. Traditionally, Ukraine is an Eastern Orthodox country, meaning they practice the customs and traditions of the Orthodox Catholic Church. So people (especially the hungry ones!) After the meal, people love to sing carols or 'Koliadky'. The main dish is often 'kutia' a type of a kind of sweet porridge made of wheat. Christmas food traditions for Sviata Vecheria. With Christmas as a primary holiday during the winter seasons, Ukrainians come together to visit with family and friends. The Ukrainian carol 'Shchedryk' is where the popular 'Carol of the Bells' came from. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages. In Ukrainian Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Веселого Різдва' Veseloho Rizdva (Merry Christmas) or 'Христос Рождається' Khrystos Rozhdayetsia (Christ is Born). The evening on the eve of this holiday is called Christmas Eve and has many interesting traditions. Songs & Music "Boh Predvichnyj - God of Ages" Ukrainian Christmas Carol. The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria (Holy Supper) brings the family together to partake in special foods and begin the holiday with many … You can't start eating the meal until the first star is seen in the sky. 10 Ukrainian holidays and traditions. There is also a perception that Ukrainian dishes are all based around pork or fish, but this is not the case. Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. On the 6th of January all the family is usually gathered around the table. They can be sung around the table or you might go out caroling in the streets. 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. However, we have special holidays celebrated only in our country and are not well-known around the world. The 700 Club examines the traditions of Christmas from Ukraine. The Ukrainian Traditions be they Christmas or Easter are so very special to me and my family. 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. Twelve dishes symbolize the 12 apostles. : 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 festivities begin on Christmas Eve (January 6.) Ukrainian Christmas celebrations are one-of-a-kind. Borscht and holubtsi are very well known dishes from Ukraine. Ukrainians Celebrate With Food, Family, and Wheat. At present times most of people have adopted European Christmas 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. Reply Emily minski wrote @ December 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm. RECOMMENDED Christmas in Guatemala - Unique Traditions to Know About and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. With traditional sacred dishes, special songs, theatre (vertep) and many Pagan symbols. What's Different About Christmas in Bulgaria? 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. Narrated by Oleg Baranovsky. The meal normally has 12 dishes which represent Jesus's 12 disciples. In Ukrainian tradition, Santa Claus is known either as St. Nicholas (Svyatyy Mykolay, also spelled Sviatyij Mykolai) or Father Frost (Did Moroz). Ukrainian Christmas songs or carols have their origins in antiquity, as do many other traditions practiced at Christmas time. Love to get your cook book love the recepies . Christmas in Ukraine is a family holiday when all the relatives gather together. Many Canadian and American families wear their Ukrainian embroidered shirts Those who are familiar with Ukrainian culture understand the importance of grain to Ukraine—even the Ukrainian flag, with its blue and yellow colors, represents golden grain under a blue sky. The main Christmas meal, called 'Sviata Vecheria' (or Holy Supper) is … During this week people often dress up in traditional clothes (Vyshyvanka), visit their relatives, sing Christmas carols (e.g. As such, they celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Jan. 6 and 7, two weeks behind the Gregorian calendar. 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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. A candle in the window welcomes those without families to join in the celebration of this special time, and the Christmas Eve dinner is not served until the first star appears in the sky, signifying the journey of three kings. These are called made of paper and silver wire, called 'pavuchky' (which means 'little spider'). Sunday is Orthodox Christmas Eve, a celebration with many longstanding traditions for the city's Ukrainian community that have passed down from generation to … For Christmas dinner, it is cooked from unleavened dough and stuffed with chopped vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, cottage cheese or … It literally means 'grandfather spirit' and can represent people's ancestors being with them in their memories. Caroling is also a part of Ukrainian Christmas traditions. People sometimes carry brightly colored stars on poles when they go caroling singing. Ukraine's Santa Claus is called Did Moroz (Father Frost) or Svyatyy Mykolay (Saint Nicholas). 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. and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. Reply ucymb wrote @ December 10, 2015 at 10:14 am. Families celebrate with holiday dishes made especially for the event. 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. Ukrainian Christmas will be in the house on January 7th each year. Long ago, this day, from the very morning, the woman of the house sets to work. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas festivities start on Christmas Eve, which is celebrated on 6 January, as reckoned by the Julian calendar. Making paper snowflakes to put on the tree or in windows are a popular decoration. So as it is a very auspicious day did not consume meat. Sviaty Vechir, or Holy Evening, is the Ukrainian Christmas Eve that takes place on January 6. The room where Sviata Vecheria is eaten normally has a Didukh decoration placed in it. Although they are made at Christmas time, there are also many other dishes. 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. 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