In America, we have a Christmas season, but the main event is clearly Christmas Day, December 25. In Ukraine, it’s more complicated. Some celebrate Christmas on December 25. Some celebrate it 13 days later, using the old calendar.

The calendar generally used throughout the world is the Gregorian calendar. Pope Gregory XIII introduced it in 1582 because the old calendar wasn’t quite accurate (the year isn’t exactly 365.25 days long, but Eastern Christendom kept the traditional Julian calendar. So most Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on January 7, which is December 25 on the Julian calendar.

To further complicate things, under Communism, religious holidays were banned, so many people celebrated their Christmas traditions on New Year’s Eve, December 31. Some observe New Year’s Eve again on January 13, which is December 31 on the old Julian calendar.

America Cares for Ukrainian Children provided holiday gifts to children on all four days and throughout the Christmas season.

Here’s a link to video of the Christmas celebration in downtown Uzhhorod:

And to a Christmas carol from our friends at the Uzhhorod PADIYUN:
Колядуймо разом з “ПАДІЮНом”

And some photos from our Christmas Eve event in downtown Uzhhorod. The Ukrainian Santa Claus is called Father Frost (Did Moroz – Дід Мороз). He looks rather fit this year, bearing a striking resemblance to one of our family volunteers . . .