Christmas is celebrated in almost all Christian countries all over the world. This is one of the most popular holiday and it amazes with phenomena of the most sacred religious and the most commercial holiday. Christmas is an anniversary of the birth of Jesus. This holiday is celebrated more than 2000 years and is does not lose its popularity with the passing of years. Christmas in Ukraine is not an exception.
Of course, Ukrainian Christmas is also exchanging gifts with near and dear ones, decorating Christmas tree, attending church, sharing Christmas meal with relatives and meeting people. However, Ukrainian Christmas traditions differ from the ones we use to see in the other Christian countries. In this article we would like to lift the veil on Christmas traditions in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Christmas begins in 6th of January with “Holy supper”. Ukrainian Christmas eve is also called “Sviata Vecheria” and it is a central tradition in celebration of Christmas in Ukraine.
People usually cook Ukrainian Christmas food. Traditional Ukrainian Christmas food includes 12 dishes. The main one dish that should be on the table is “Kutia”. “Kutia” – is a ritual food which is prepared from cooked wheat or rise, filled with honey, grated poppy seeds, raisins and sometimes walnuts. According to Ukrainian Christmas traditions “Kutia” should be tasted at the first place, then you need to try all 12 dishes that are on the table.
At the end of “Holly Supper” and the next several days children gather on the streets and sing Ukrainian Christmas songs, also called “Koliadky”. The most popular one is “Schedryk”. Singers wish all around Merry Christmas, good harvest and strong health. Mostly in villages children are also dressed in traditional Christmas costumes, make some small performance and “sow” people’s houses with wheat and barley. By tradition this ritual brings prosperity and well-being.
The next day people continue celebrating Christmas with their relatives. All Christmas holidays last till 19th of January. This day is called “Khreschenie”. On this day people usually bless the water and dip in to water-hall in order to clear up all the past sins and bad energy.
If you stay in Ukraine for winter holidays and have an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in Ukraine, do not hesitate to follow all the traditions and just have fun. To wish people Merry Christmas in Ukrainian language you can by saying the following: