Orthodox Christmas Day (Suspended) observed in Ukraine ― Date, History, and Details
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History of Orthodox Christmas Day (Suspended) observed in Ukraine and How to Celebrate/ Observe It
The history of Orthodox Christmas Day in Ukraine dates back to the time of Kievan Rus, when it was first celebrated on January 7th according to the Julian calendar. It was a major holiday during this period and it was celebrated with feasting, caroling and religious services. This tradition continued until the Soviet Union imposed its own calendar system in 1918, which moved the celebration to December 25th.
As the Soviet Union imposed its own atheistic ideology, the celebration of Christmas Day was suspended in Ukraine. The only official celebration was New Year’s Day on January 1st. During this period, many Ukrainians still celebrated Christmas in private homes with family and friends, but it was not officially recognized until after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Today, Orthodox Christmas Day is once again celebrated in Ukraine. People gather in churches to attend religious services and celebrate with traditional foods like kolach, olivier salad and uzvar. Many towns and cities host festive events like concerts, plays, and open-air markets. Carolers sing traditional songs and people exchange gifts. Celebrations often last well into the night as people enjoy each other’s company.