Home World Ukraine Takes a Stand: Christmas Shifted to Dec. 25, Breaking Free from Russian Traditions!

Ukraine Takes a Stand: Christmas Shifted to Dec. 25, Breaking Free from Russian Traditions!

by Editorial Desk
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In a move to distance itself from Russian-imposed traditions, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law on Friday that shifts the official Christmas Day holiday from Jan. 7 to Dec. 25. The latter date aligns with the celebration of Christmas in most church and secular groups following the Gregorian calendar.

The new law aims to shed the Russian heritage that has been influencing Ukraine for years. By moving Christmas to Dec. 25, Ukrainians hope to assert their own identity and preserve their unique traditions and holidays. Russia’s 17-month-old aggression against Ukraine has fueled a strong desire among Ukrainians to maintain their independence and cultural autonomy.

Notably, some Ukrainians already began observing Christmas on Dec. 25 last year, symbolizing their separation from Russia, its culture, and religious customs.

In addition to changing the Christmas holiday, the law also moves the Day of Ukrainian Statehood to July 15 and the Day of Defenders of Ukraine to Oct. 1. These adjustments are part of Ukraine’s broader effort to strengthen its national identity and reclaim its history.

The religious landscape in Ukraine has been fragmented for years, with two branches of Orthodox Christianity in the country. One branch aligns with the Russian Orthodox Church but enjoys a level of autonomy, while the other branch operates independently. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is separate from the Russian church, previously adopted the Revised Julian calendar, setting Christmas on Dec. 25.

Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the rival Orthodox Church, which is aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church, has vowed to continue celebrating Christmas on Jan. 7.

To mark the official day of recognition for the country’s Special Operation Forces and commemorate the anniversary of a tragic attack on the Olenivka prison in the Russian-held part of Donetsk region, President Zelenskyy visited the war-torn area. The attack resulted in the death of numerous prisoners of war, and both Russia and Ukraine accused each other of orchestrating it. A United Nations fact-finding mission was sent to investigate the incident but was disbanded in January 2023 due to security concerns.

President Zelenskyy condemned the attack, calling it one of Russia’s “most vile and cruel crimes” in a video statement on Saturday.

The shift in Christmas celebration date and the adjustments to other significant holidays highlight Ukraine’s determination to assert its independence and promote its distinct cultural identity despite ongoing challenges in the region.

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