Christmas is a special time in Ukraine and one that is steeped in history and tradition. Ukrainian ladies have been used to spending Christmas Eve fulfilling these traditions for many years.
It’s no surprise that in Ukraine, the Christmas holiday is considered to be a time for family to be together and celebrate. It’s very important, and Christmas Eve has always been one of the most important days of the year.
Traditionally, Christmas Eve for Ukrainian ladies is a busy one. For many families, the Christmas Eve meal is the highlight of the day and is very traditional. The Holy Supper, known as Sviata Vechera, will take place in the early evening as soon as the first star is spotted in the night sky.
Ukrainian ladies are used to eating Christmas Eve supper with family
Children at the supper will announce the arrival of that first star and the dinner will begin immediately thereafter. The table on which the food is eaten will be covered with a traditional, embroidered tablecloth and then there will be some hay scattered around on top of that.
This décor symbolises the manger in Bethlehem where Jesus Christ was born. There are several other traditional elements to the dinner, some of which vary depending on where about in the country Ukrainian ladies are. For example, in agricultural communities, the head of the household bringing in some wheat called ‘didukh’ into the supper to symbolise and remember the family’s ancestors.
Before guests begin eating, there will be a prayer and a traditional Ukrainian Christmas greeting.
Once the Sviate Vechera dinner has ended, some families still partake in the tradition of carol signing, and older still, the carol singing may go door-to-door in the local community to collect donations for the local church.
Traditional church services
Once this part of Christmas Eve has finished, Ukrainian ladies will join the rest of the family in going to the traditional church services. These will begin shortly before midnight and continue through into Christmas morning. As with many Christmas traditions in Ukraine, this is very much a family thing and it’s common for several generations of a family to be together at these church services.
A Christmas to remember with Ukrainian ladies
So, if you’re spending Christmas with your Ukrainian girl, it certainly pays to know how they’re used to spending Christmas Eve and how they’d usually go about celebrating the Christmas holiday. If you’re spending it in Ukraine with them, then expect to get involved with everything we have mentioned. Even if you’re spending it in your own country, why not try to include some of the festive touches and traditions that she will be used to from home.