Ukraine’s First Christmas on December 25

Ukraine’s First Christmas on December 25

Orthodox Christians in Ukraine Celebrate Christmas on December 25

For the first time, Orthodox Christians in Ukraine attended services on Sunday as the country prepares to celebrate Christmas on December 25. This is a change from January 7, when most Orthodox believers celebrate, and it is seen as a snub to Russia.

Ukrainian President’s Christmas Message

In a Christmas message released on Sunday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that all Ukrainians are celebrating Christmas together on the same date. He emphasized the unity of the nation and the importance of celebrating as one big family.

Church Services and Celebrations

In the southern Black Sea port of Odesa, churchgoers attended Christmas Eve service in the Cathedral of the Nativity. The church was decorated with fir trees and a nativity scene. Churchgoers prayed and lit candles, expressing their joy in celebrating Christmas with the whole world, far away from Moscow.

Abandoning Russian Heritage

Most Eastern Christian churches celebrate Christmas on January 7, following the Julian calendar. However, Ukrainian President Zelensky signed a law in July to move the celebration to December 25. This decision was made to abandon the Russian heritage of imposing Christmas celebrations on January 7.

Joining the World

The date change is part of Ukraine’s efforts to remove traces of the Russian and Soviet empires. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine formally broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in 2014. Many priests and parishes have switched to the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is growing rapidly and gaining support from the government.

Putin’s Condition For Peace

Support for the Date Change

Ukrainians voiced their support for the Christmas date change. They believe that joining the world and celebrating on December 25 is an important step for the country. Some individuals are even willing to compromise and celebrate on both December 25 and January 7.

Ukrainian Christmas Traditions

Ukrainian Christmas traditions include a dinner on Christmas Eve with 12 meatless dishes. They also decorate their homes with sheaves of wheat called didukh and sing carols called polyandry. Nativity scenes and decorations in the shape of stars are also part of the celebrations.

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