In Ukraine, Christmas and New Year are two very special events that encompass a range of traditions and exciting family gatherings. Ukrainian brides are likely to prepare for this time of year well in advance and will be happy to discuss their plans and share their personal customs with you.
Ukrainian brides will explain how important family is at Christmas and you will quickly recognize that traditions in Ukraine revolve around gatherings of relatives and friends and the sharing of occasions with those closest to your Ukrainian women. Ancient customs mean that Christmas is celebrated in solemn ways as well as in jovial practices. Many pre-Christian customs have dictated the ways in which Ukrainian brides will celebrate the event and with a focus on times gone by, the traditions can differ greatly from those in the West. Pagan cultures that were developed during Ukraine’s extensive agrarian times show themselves in the customs of today’s festivities.
Ukrainian brides will inevitably be involved in preparing a large supper on Christmas Eve, known as Sviata Vecheria. This event gathers the family and allows them to eat together, consider God and remember relatives who are no longer with us. Food is integral to Christmas and New Year celebrations and many Catholic Ukrainian brides will enjoy 2 Christmas dinners. The first Christmas dinner is eaten on 6th January and is a Lent Dinner, which is vegetarian. The meal is only eaten when the first star appears in the sky that night, following an all-day fast. The second Christmas meal is enjoyed by Ukrainian brides and their families on 7th January and this is a more lavish event which includes meats and alcohol.
Once the second Christmas dinner is eaten, many Ukrainian brides will take children from their family to visit neighbors and nearby friends to share greetings and sing carols. Singing is a joyful experience that can often become a community event. The Ukrainian Christmas puppet theatre, Vertep, will usually tour and sing carols or share biblical scenes in a theatrical way to homes throughout the country.
As at Christmas, Ukrainian brides will share New Year celebrations with family and friends. Most New Years are greeted with outdoor festivities, despite the freezing temperatures and usually groups of friends will gather to toast the end of the year. Fireworks are a regular feature of the celebrations in bigger cities and some will host grand events that include a fair and street traders. Ukrainian brides will usually gather to cook for their family, whether is be a large celebratory meal or some treats and snacks to share outdoors. To combat the cold, many Ukrainian brides will prepare hot mulled wine or mulled cider for the midnight toast.
Ukrainian brides may opt to stay at home for New Year in favor of listening to the presidential speech. The speech is broadcast on all of the country’s national TV and radio stations just before midnight and several families observe the tradition of listening. For those who stay at home, the Ukrainian brides usually prepare a large feast and this will be accompanied by wine and champagne.