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Christmas Day in Ukraine

Quick Facts

Christmas Day is a public holiday in Ukraine on January 7, a date based on the Orthodox Christian Church’s calendar.

Local names

NameLanguage
РождествоRussian
РіздвоUkrainian
Christmas DayEnglish
WeihnachtenGerman

Christmas Day 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Day 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Ukrainians have a day off on Christmas Day, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is an annual public holiday across Ukraine and falls on January 7, the Orthodox Christmas date.

Stain glass representation of the virgin Mary and baby Jesus

Christmas Day celebrates the day Jesus Christ, pictured above, was born.

©iStockphoto.com/RedletterW

What do people do?

The period from January 7-14 is a festive week, in which it is customary for some people to dress up, visit homes, sing Christmas songs (eg. Kolyadka), and wish each other blessings. A Ukrainian Christmas dinner may often include dishes such as:

Other Christmas activities include puppet shows of the Nativity, holiday concerts, and Christmas fairs.

Public life

Christmas Day is a public holiday across Ukraine, so many businesses, schools, universities and public offices are closed.

Background

Christmas for many Ukrainians is an important family holiday. When Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union, Christmas Day was not a public holiday but Christmas traditions were not forgotten. After Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, Christmas Day was made a public holiday. Many Ukrainian Christmas traditions are based on pre-Christian Pagan customs.

Many Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine observe the Christmas Day date from the Julian calendar, which is different from the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. So, while Christmas is still on December 25 in the Julian calendar, it appears on January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, up until 2100. After that, the Gregorian date for Orthodox Christmas will be January 8 in 2101.

Symbols

Christmas meals that have a symbolic meaning include:

Some families celebrate Christmas with a 12-course dinner, with each course representing one of Jesus Christ’s apostles. According to the pre-Christian Pagan tradition, each course of meal represented a full moon that took place during the year.

About Christmas Day in other countries

Read more about Christmas Day.

Christmas Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
SunJan 71990Christmas DayNational holiday
MonJan 71991Christmas DayNational holiday
TueJan 71992Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuJan 71993Christmas DayNational holiday
FriJan 71994Christmas DayNational holiday
SatJan 71995Christmas DayNational holiday
SunJan 71996Christmas DayNational holiday
TueJan 71997Christmas DayNational holiday
WedJan 71998Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuJan 71999Christmas DayNational holiday
FriJan 72000Christmas DayNational holiday
SunJan 72001Christmas DayNational holiday
MonJan 72002Christmas DayNational holiday
TueJan 72003Christmas DayNational holiday
WedJan 72004Christmas DayNational holiday
FriJan 72005Christmas DayNational holiday
SatJan 72006Christmas DayNational holiday
SunJan 72007Christmas DayNational holiday
MonJan 72008Christmas DayNational holiday
WedJan 72009Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuJan 72010Christmas DayNational holiday
FriJan 72011Christmas DayNational holiday
SatJan 72012Christmas DayNational holiday
MonJan 72013Christmas DayNational holiday
TueJan 72014Christmas DayNational holiday
WedJan 72015Christmas DayNational holiday
ThuJan 72016Christmas DayNational holiday
SatJan 72017Christmas DayNational holiday
SunJan 72018Christmas DayNational holiday
MonJan 72019Christmas DayNational holiday
TueJan 72020Christmas DayNational holiday

Other holidays in January 2014 in Ukraine

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