Probably the New Year’s holidays in Ukraine is one of the most expected periods 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 the New Year’s holidays in Ukraine are so loved by all people. That is because we have a lot of days off on which we can relax. So, if you come from a foreign country, you will be interested to know how long holidays in Ukraine last in December and January and what exactly we celebrate.
To begin with, all festivities start with the celebrating of St. Nickolay’s day on 19 December. On this day they organize various concerts and performances (mostly for kids, since it is considered to be children’s holiday) around the city. And phase 1 of giving presents begins. Traditionally adults give lots of sweets to children on that day.
The next phase of the New Year’s holidays in Ukraine is the week before the New Year. During this week many companies decide to make office parties for their staff. 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 celebrate the coming of the New Year.
After that comes the home-celebrating time. Finally almost everyone has their day-off. Government establishments start having rest on 31 December and usually 1 January is also the day when people 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 the New Year falls on Saturday, that is why we will stay at home on 1 January (Sunday) and 2 January (Monday) at home.
After the New Year comes Christmas, which Ukrainians celebrate on 6 and 7 January. This year Christmas falls on Saturday as well, so Ukraine will have rest on Monday 8 January too, which means that 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 holidays 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 all Ukrainians celebrate the so-called Old New Year, in memory of the days when the New Year used to be celebrated on this date. Unfortunately, this is not an official day off, but you must not be surprised to see lots of people setting off firecrackers, drinking champagne and wishing happy New Year to everyone.
Finally, on 19 January we, Ukrainians, celebrate a traditional holiday which is called Epiphany. This is a very popular day among all people because of one tradition. It is believed that you will be healthy and get rid of all your sins if you dive into an ice-hole in the river. 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 lucky to be in Ukraine at this time. That is such an experience!
To conclude my writing, I want to say that Ukrainians are people, who work hard, however, they like to relax «hard» too, which they do deserve. That is why, I recommend you to visit Ukraine at this time of year and become a part of a non-stop all month long celebration.