Ukraine to celebrate Christmas today as it ditches Russian tradition | World | News

December 25, 2023
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Ukraine is celebrating Christmas on December 25 as it moves away from a long-standing Russian tradition.

Previously Ukraine had celebrated Christmas on January 7 because, like Russia, it uses the Julian calendar. But, in a further shift away from Russia, it is now marking Christmas in-line with the Western calendar.

Ukraine already uses the Gregorian calendar for its everyday life. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky introduced the change in July, to let the nation “abandon the Russian heritage”.

According to the BBC, Zelensky said Ukraine is now “together” as he addressed the nation on Sunday. He said: “We all celebrate Christmas together. On the same date, as one big family, as one nation, as one united country.”

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) – a church created four years ago – has also changed its Christmas date to December 25. The church was formed as a breakaway from the Russian Orthodox church after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.

To mark the new Christmas Day, people in Ukraine lit candles on Sunday. While children in Lviv dressed in traditional costumes, sang carols, and took part in festive processions in the street.

A tree was also decorated in Kyiv’s Independence Square. While millions of people have joined the OCU, the Russian-linked Ukranian Orthodox Church (UOC) still has its own legions of supporters.

They will continue to observe Christmas on January 7. The BBC says UOC leaders say they split from Russia in 2022 over the invasion of Ukraine – many people however remain sceptical.



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