Everything you need to know about Christmas in Ukraine

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Ukrainian Christmas is a very special affair. You know why? Because Christmas is celebrated twice here! Is it because Ukrainians love festivities so much that they simply cannot let go of this Christmasy opportunity? Well, that and also because the Julian Calendar is followed here.

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So, a handful of people celebrate it on 25th December. But, almost the entire Ukraine celebrates Christmas eve on 6th January and Christmas on 7th January. The festival frenzy ends on January 19th giving you an ample amount of time to raise a toast and enjoy a feast each day. Here are the things you can look forward to while planning your trip to Ukraine

Traditions that are different than the ones you know

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It may be a little hard for you to imagine Christmas without Santa Clause, decorated trees, and heaps of gifts. But, for any Ukrainian, this is what Christmas looks like. They make it a point to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Ukrainian Christmas trees may look similar to you sometimes. But, there are some Ukrainian Christmas ornaments that are different. But, nonetheless, the atmosphere is filled with the lovely sound of carols and delicious aromas of traditional food.

Caroling - a practice that is followed religiously

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Singing carols, known as Koliadky amongst locals, mark the celebrations of Christmas. You will find many young people as well as church members dressed in traditional clothes. These groups go from home to home, sing Ukrainian carols, and collect donations. These carols are also sung by families after the Christmas Eve dinner.

It all comes down to food

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You cannot talk about Christmas in Ukraine without mentioning their expansive dinner. But, dinner is also a bit different. 12 dishes where no meat or fat is used - that’s how it always is here. It always starts with the famous kutya - the delicious traditional dessert. But, it is served only after the first star in the eastern evening sky is seen. Other dishes like varenyky and holubtsi are also mouth-watering. Do not miss this 12-dish supper when you are in Ukraine.

Christmas markets that are always bustling

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Many things might be different than your idea of Christmas, but when it comes to festival shopping, Ukraine agrees with everyone. Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, starts bustling with several Christmas markets well in advance. Every corner looks like a snowy wonderland and offers something or the other for kids and adults alike.

Looking for an interesting place to visit this Christmas? Ukraine is waiting for you! Do not forget to read all about Ukraine tourism before you start packing your vacation bags.