Christmas holidays: the interesting facts

Christmas holidays: the interesting facts

There are a lot of interesting and funny holidays in Ukraine. They are not inferior to the popular Western ones. There are such as Valentine’s Day or Halloween. Our special Ukrainian holidays begin with St. Nicholas and last a whole month until the Epiphany.


What are the features of our celebrations?


Ukrainian Christmas is accompanied by songs and festivities. The Ukrainians are putting on costume performances. These are legendary nativity scenes. All these traditions of the Ukrainian people have existed for many hundreds of years and are still not forgotten and continue to develop.


Historically, it is known that Christian Christmas was inherited from ancient pagan cults. The religions existed before Jesus Christ had a tradition of celebrating the birth of God. For example, the Greeks Dionysus and the Egyptians Osiris. At the same time, the dates celebrated by the people are similar – the end of December and the beginning of January.


Christmas began to be massively celebrated in Ukraine around the 10th century. To make it easier for people in Russia, they were appointed on the same day with pagan dates. It is interesting that on this day, long before the Christianization of Russia, fortune-telling was an obligatory tradition.
By the way, the first mentions of the Nativity scene date back to the 17th century. Historians suggest they may have appeared even earlier.


Not everyone knows that the Christmas tree has nothing to do with the New Year. This is an attribute of Christmas. This confusion is not accidental, because in the last century the communists carried out active anti-religious propaganda. It was during Soviet times that the Star of Bethlehem turned into a red star.
The Western tradition of giving gifts to children has much in common with the peculiarities of Ukrainian culture. We have such a unique character as Saint Nicholas. There is a legend about this very respected person in Ukraine. One day one father wanted to marry his daughters to save them from hunger and poverty. To help this family, Saint Nicholas threw sacks of gold coins into stockings into the chimney, which were dried near the chimney. Doesn’t this mention of socks sound like famous stills from American holiday movies?


One of the Ukrainian traditions is to carry dinner to godparents on Christmas Eve. Ukrainians cook kutya and go to another house to celebrate. However, they return home to spend the morning with their family. Being late for a holiday is a very bad sign. This means a person will live somewhere in foreign cities all year round and will not find a place for himself.


Social polls confirm more Ukrainians already believe in St. Nicholas and less believe in Santa Claus. Most people celebrate Christmas on January 7 only, and 15% of respondents celebrate this holiday twice a year. Traditionally, the most important holiday for Western Ukraine is Christmas, and for the south and east – New Year.