Another one phenomenon which exists in Ukrainian culture is a celebration of Old New Year. Also called an Orthodox New Year it is celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar.
Currently New Year is celebrated according to Gregorian calendar in the 1st of January. However, Gregorian calendar has been adopted only in 20th centaury by Soviet Union (1918). Before this date New Year has been celebrated on the night of 13th January. As calendar has been changed and habits have not people celebrate both New Year and Old New Year in Ukraine.
Old New Year ends Christmas cycle of official holidays. With the beginning of Old New Year children start going to school after 2-week winter holidays, parents start working regularly without additional days off and whole life takes its course after longtime celebration.
In Ukraine Old New Year coincides with celebration of “Malanka” (Schedryi Vechir). The main attributes of Malanka celebration were fortunetelling, games and other entertainments. Youth goes from house to house singing carols (Kolyadly). The first thing to be done in Malanka morning is to let a male in to the house and allow him to throw wheat around the entrance. According to Ukrainian traditions this ritual should bring happiness, love, health and luck at home. There were a lot of rites connected to this day. For example, rites directed to enhancement of household or a happy union.
Of course, Old New Year itself is not celebrated as gorgeous as New Year. However, Ukrainian people do not ignore the presence of this holiday. Old New Year is not considered as a national holiday, however people this day meet with relatives and their near and dear ones, present gifts, cook traditional dishes, wish each other good health and happy new year.
Ukrainians love to celebrate. Celebration is a part of life of all Ukrainian people. We like to meet people, to present gifts, to have the feeling of holiday and the process of preparation to some event. And winter is the time when you can enjoy holidays in full.
Most likely after a while people will stop celebrating Old New Year and forget about different calendars. However, as for now Slavic people including Ukrainians have two New Year holidays: New Year and Old New Year. They both are a start of the beginning of new year, new life, new challenges and new achievements. Which one to celebrate? It is up to you to decide from which day you want to start counting your new winnings.