Duration of New Year’s holidays in Ukraine!

Probably the New Year`s celebrations in Ukraine is one of the most magnificent period of time during the year. Do you think it is because everyone is in anticipation of the forthcoming celebration? If you do, you are absolutely right. But there is one more reason why these holidays are so loved by people. It is because we have a lot of days off on which we can relax. So, if you come from a foreign country, you may be interested to know how long the period lasts and what exactly we celebrate.

To begin with, all the festivities start with the celebrating of St. Nicholas day on 19th of December. Various concerts and performances are organized (mostly for kids, since it is considered to be children`s holiday) around the city. St. Nicholas is a symbol of a good spirit, who observes the behavior of children throughout the year. He writes down both good and bad deeds in a special notebook. Let`s glimpse a bit to the history of the holiday, St. Nicholas was a wealthy man, who was helping the poor: “There was a man who couldn`t afford to give a decent dowry to his daughters, at those times it was the reason why they couldn`t get married. St. Nicholas found out and decided to help them, he used to come to their house and was leaving golden bars. No one knew about his charity. He was secretly helping people without any self-interest.” Traditionally adults give lots of sweets to children. If a kid was behaving good, he will find a treat under his pillow. So it is very exciting moment for many children. Sometimes parents play in a game, they write a letter from St. Nicholas praising for good behavior “You have been studying good”, “You helped your brother with homework yesterday”, but also noticing some things which were not quite smooth “You still forget to make up your bed sometimes”, etc. It can be a handmade letter, usually not a computer variant. A kid may write a letter back with his wishes.

The next phase of the New Year’s traditions in Ukraine is the week before the holiday itself starts. During this week many companies decide to make office parties. Depending on different reasons such parties can be held on any weekday, which means that everyone has different work schedule to have a chance to take part in the celebration.

After comes the home-celebrating time. Finally almost everyone has their day-off. Government establishments have a rest for 2 days, starting from the 31st of December, it is the day when Ukrainian people celebrate New Year and do not go to work. There is an interesting system of calculation how many days off we will have. If the holiday on which all the country can relax falls on Saturday or Sunday, we get Monday as a day off too. Which is absolutely fair in my opinion. So, this year it falls on Thursday, so we are going to stay at home on the 1st of January (Thursday) and 2nd of January (Friday).

New Year is the most important celebration for Ukrainian people. We do spend it exceptionally in a family circle. We have our Ukrainian Santa, we call him “Ded Moroz”. If you want to impress your girlfriend from Ukraine, you can say “Schaslyvogo Novogo Roku”, it means happy new year in Ukrainian language.

We pay much attention to New Year`s toast speech, it has always hope for a better future, realizing big dreams and making plans.

After comes Christmas, which is celebrated on 6th and 7th of January. In 2021 Christmas falls on Thursday as well, so Ukraine will have rest on Friday 8 January too, so people will have a chance to spend more time with their relatives and people dear to their hearts.

Do you hope that we have finished? As I have told you, winter festivities in Ukraine are loved by people because we have plenty of time to rest. So, surely, Christmas is not the last celebration. On 14 January we celebrate the so-called Old New Year, in memory of the days when it used to be celebrated on this date. Unfortunately, it is not a day off, but you must not be surprised to see lots of people setting off firecrackers, drinking champagne and exchanging gifts.

Finally, on 19 January we celebrate Epiphany. This is a very popular day among all people because of one tradition. If you dive into an ice-hole in the river, you will be healthy and get rid of all your sins. So on that usually cold winter day many people go to rivers, ponds or other places where they can plunge themselves into cold Epiphany water. And you are welcome to join them if you are planning to be in our country at this time. That is such an experience!

To conclude my writing, our nation works hard, however, we like to relax «hard» too, which we do deserve. That is why, I recommend you to visit our country and become a part of a non-stop all month long celebration.