Ukrainian Christmas Traditions
The Julian calendar is much different from the Gregorian calender. So many people celebrate the birth of Christ as the Gregorian calender states on December 25th. However when we talk about the Orthodox religions around the world we celebrate Christmas on January 6th and 7th.
The fun starts on Christmas Eve when we Have Holy Supper which is known as Sviata Vecheria. The beginning of the day is when all the fun starts. The cooking and celebrating brings great joy right from the beginning of the day.
The Ukrainian Christmas Tradition starts with covering your table with a very beautiful table cloth with brilliant, amazing embroidery. You will see hay spread out under the cloth. This hay is put there to remind of us the manger in which Christ was born. In the middle of the table you will see a lit candle that has been placed in a kolach. In tradition with the lit candle it is said that the heat that comes off the flame will lift my families prayers to God. Another cool tradition is when you set the table you set a place for every single person plus one. The plus one is always for a guest that was unexpected.
In the corner of the room a sheath of grain which is called a didukh and a Christmas tree Which is called a ialynka takes a very important place in the house. Now we will wait for sunset when all the kids will watch outside for the first star. Once the first star is spotted the family can then sit down to eat their holy supper.
A Bit About The Ukrainian Christmas Menu
One of the biggest things when it comes to Ukrainian Christmas traditions is the menu. The biggest thing you will notice right off the bat is that the menu contains absolutely no meat. What it does do is serves up 12 dishes which do represent the 12 apostles. It represents the food we get from a garden, the fields and off the trees. Lastly it will also represent what the lakes and rivers give us.
When the food is being put together no milk or fats from animals can be used. This is a very religious following to remind us that all living things including animals do have a soul.
I guess the first thing we should talk about is the first or main dish. The main dish is called kutia. Kutia is wheat that is cooked and then has poppy seeds, nuts and honey added to make it delicious.
The first thing that will be done is the entire family will say the Lords prayer. Right after that the head of the family will raise a full spoon of kutia and speak the traditional saying (Khrystos Rodyvsia which means Christ is born. At this point the entire family will respond with (Slavim Yoho) which says let us glorify him. At this point the entire family will enjoy a bowl of kutia.
Now they will get to start eating all the other delicious dishes that are being served. Borsch which is beet soup. Then varenyky which is a perogy, next is holubtsi whic are small sour cabbage rolls. You will also get different sorts of fish which include fried, baked and jellied. Another fun dish is picked herrings, mushrooms and then garlic flavored beans. Another dish is sour cabbage mixed with peas, we will also have stewed fruit, breads, great pastries, all sorts of fresh fruits and nuts. Once supper is done everyone will get together and sing traditional Christmas carols. However the first carol will always be the oldest koliada which is Boh Predvichnyi which is (God eternal)
Singing Of Christmas Carols
As the day comes to a close the family will attend a midnight church ceremony to hear and help to understand the story of when Christ was born. Then everyone in church will sing the most popular Christmas carols.
One other thing when it comes to Ukrainian Christmas traditions is everyone including the young and old will go Christmas caroling to their friends and neighbors homes. People through out the community wait and anticipate the carolers coming around. The carolers will collect donations for their church or other causes.
Ukrainian Christmas Traditions
- Ukrainian Christmas Tradition-Kapusniak Recipe (Cabbage Soup)
The next dish in the Ukrainian Christmas tradition is Kapusniak. Kapusniak for the most part is sour cabbage soup and believe me when I say you cant stop at one bowl.
- Ukrainian Christmas Tradition-Borsct Recipe
The next thing you will want to learn to cook for Ukrainian Christmas is Borscht. Once you taste this you will wonder where this soup has always been.
- Ukrainian Christmas Tradition-Kolach Recipe
Ukrainian Christmas tradition and Ukrainian Christmas recipes go hand in hand. Its all about the food but even better what the food is about and what it presents.
- Ukrainian Christmas Traditions-Kutya Recipe
When it comes to Ukrainian Christmas tradition and Ukrainian Christmas recipes there really isnt a bigger one then kutya. Have a read and hopefully you will have a better understanding of all that is involved.