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Ukrainian New Year Celebration – Julian Calendar


Christmas celebration on December 24-25, and New Year on December 31-January1,(Gregorian calendar), are the well-known dates to the majority of the population.

However per the Julian calendar, Christmas was celebrated on January 6-7, some called it Orthodox Christmas, and the New Year was celebrated on January 13-14.

As of this year, 2024, Catholic and Orthodox Ukrainians in UKRAINE and around the world joined together, separated themselves from their oppressor Russia, and began celebrating these holidays according to the GREGORIAN calendar.

Ukrainians call this New Year “Malanka”, the day of St. Melania, or “Generous Eve” (Shchedryi Vechir).

On New Year’s Eve, carolers would dress up in various outfits, visit their family and friends, and put on satirical-type skits accompanied by appropriate songs, as well as sing Christmas carols and Shchedrivky (songs of good wishes for the New Year).  New Year’s Eve dinner would be similar to Christmas Eve dinner, but less elaborate.   A lot of fortune-telling took place on New Year’s Eve.

However, the turning out of events on New Year’s Day was considered a harbinger of the upcoming year.  It was believed that if your New Year’s Day was great, then the whole year would be as great;  if things were not going too well, then the whole year would be pretty turbulent as well. People would avoid taking naps on New Year’s Day because this would mean that they would be very lazy during the year.

Early morning on New Year’s Day, young boys would visit the homes of their grandparents, family, and friends, and scatter a few grains of wheat, or oats, over their floor, as a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the New Year.  They would also recite special verses, and express holiday greetings, and well wishes.  As a reward for their visit, they were always treated with sweets and money, since it was considered an honor to be visited, and greeted, by these young “grain sowers”.

Photo of Carolers from Welcome To Ukraine


Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

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