Orthodox Christmas in Ukraine in 2022

Orthodox Christmas in Ukraine in 2022

  How long until Orthodox Christmas?
Orthodox Christmas
  Dates of Orthodox Christmas in Ukraine
2022 Ukraine Fri, Jan 7 National Holiday
2021 Jan 7, Jan 8
UkraineFri, Jan 8National Holiday (bridge day)
UkraineThu, Jan 7National Holiday
2020 Jan 6, Jan 7
UkraineTue, Jan 7National Holiday
UkraineMon, Jan 6National Holiday (additional day)
2019 Ukraine Mon, Jan 7 National Holiday
2018 Jan 7, Jan 8
UkraineMon, Jan 8National Holiday
UkraineSun, Jan 7National Holiday

The Orthodox Church recognises January 7th as the day that Jesus was born

  Orthodox Christmas in other countries
Orthodox Christmas internationally
Related holidays

When is Orthodox Christmas?

The Orthodox Church recognises January 7th as the day that Jesus was born. Elsewhere in the world, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.

The difference in the timing of the Christmas celebrations stretches back to 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII, ruled that the Catholic Church should follow a new calendar – called the Gregorian calendar, as it was closer to the solar calendar than the Julian calendar.

History of Orthodox Christmas

The Julian calendar had been established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.

Because it was the Catholic pope who ruled on the adoption of the new calendar, many churches not aligned to the papacy ignored it, such as Protestants and the Eastern Orthodox church. Protestants accepted the new calendar in the early 1700s.

In 1922, the patriarch of Constantinople decided that the Gregorian calendar should be followed for the observance of Christmas, but not for Easter, and this edict was followed by many of the other Orthodox churches.

The only Orthodox churches that still observe the January 7th date are the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian churches, the Serbs and the Mount Athos monks in Greece.

The Armenian Orthodox Church observes Christmas Day on January 6th. This was the original date for Christmas until the 4th century, rather than some Julian/Gregorian adjusted date.

Ukrainian Christmas Customs

Ukrainians add a spider and web ornament to their Christmas trees every year.

This tradition is based on a folklore tale that an old woman could not afford to decorate her tree. She went off to bed on Christmas eve feeling glum and in the morning she woke to a tree beautifully decorated in spiders web.

Hanging a spider decoration on the tree is supposed to bring good luck.

A custom is in Kiev is that you shouldn't start your Christmas dinner until the first star is seen in the sky; representing the star that guided the Wise Men on their journey to find baby Jesus.

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