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A Ukrainian Christmas

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Traditionally, Christians, our pious ancestors, lived from holiday to holiday, the Calendar, from which in fact the word Kolyadki is said to come from, was not simply a method for counting days. It was an entire way of life, each season representing a cycle of world-changing, or at least significant events, in salvation history. As a result, gatherings to celebrate these feasts were major events that the entire village would be involved in, each holiday genuinely met with solemnity and joy.

Christmas in Ukraine transformed ‘It won’t be like before’: Christmas in Ukraine transformed

Buy from our bookstore and 25% of the cover price will be given to a school of your choice to buy more books. *15% of eBooks. Home > The All-Night Christmas Vigil then follows, families then troop to their local parish churches or Protestant chruches to attend as thanksgiving for the Savior's birth in a stable.Curious to learn more? Listen to Ukrainian Lessons Podcast Episode #61 about Різдв яна веч еря — Christmas dinner in Ukraine! Credit Indeed, the Ukrainian carol is technically not even classified among Kolyadki—Christmas Carols; it is actually of the related type of carols called Shedrivki (Щедрівки), which are sung on New Years Eve according to the Julian (Old) Calendar, January 13 on the New Calendar. This day coincides with the Leave-Taking of the Nativity of Christ, as well as the feasts of Saint Peter (Mohyla), Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia, and all Rus’, and another great saint associated with Kiev and Rusyns, Dositheus of Zagreb. The following day, January 14, is New Years on the Old Calendar, and also the feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, and Saint Basil the Great.

When Is Ukrainian Christmas and Why - Ukrainian Lessons When Is Ukrainian Christmas and Why - Ukrainian Lessons

Despite not technically being a Christmas carol, but rather a New Years Carol for Saint Basil’s Day, one can still find similar themes here. The swallow, the first bird of spring proclaiming the birth of the new lamb to the joy of the master of the house, and declaring that all will be well in the coming spring, the season of rebirth is quite symbolic. The Nativity of Christ, the sun of righteousness, is of course celebrated on the winter solstice, as dark cold days of winter get warmer and brighter, when the sun allegorically overcomes the night, and in all of this we can certainly see Christian meaning.We can still find some Christian meaning in the words of Shedryk as well, and seeing as its English version is so famous, we could not present an article on Ukrainian Christmas Carols without including Shedryk. The version below contains the lyrics in Ukrainian and English, and a transliteration is available on Wikipedia. because this song is so famous, and translations and transliterations are abundant, I will not include it here. You may find many other beautiful versions simply by searching Щедрик on Youtube. As centuries passed by, Ukraine gained its independence for a short period in 1918 (this happened before the USSR was created). Then, the civilian calendar was changed to the Gregorian one. However, the Orthodox Church has bigger fish to fry and keeps counting the days their own way. This is also the reason we have the so-called ‘Old New Year’ on January 14. It isn’t as big as the one in December, but still nice. It is a song, based around a haunting four-note melody, that has come to be a poignant musical symbol of the war in Ukraine performed around the world.

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