How Ukrainians celebrate Christmas and New Year's EveUkrainians still celebrate New Year’s Eve as the main holiday of the season. Orthodox Christmas is on 7 January, so New Year festivities come first.

Christmas in Ukraine

There is a sizable proportion of Catholics in Ukraine but the majority of locals consider themselves Orthodox Christians. Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas 13 days later than Catholics, on 7 January.

New Year’s Eve in Ukraine

As this holiday is first on the calendar, it’s still viewed as more important. During Soviet times people were not allowed to celebrate Christmas as atheism was the official policy of the state. Thus, people naturally shifted celebrations to New Year’s date, keeping the fun and the games. During the times of the USSR Christmas tree became “the New Year tree” with all the other corresponding activities becoming a part of this day.

How the customs of festive season play out today?

Here are some links to the stories about festive activities that we have published previously. Enjoy!

Gifts, presents and greetings

Wondering what would be the appropriate protocol for sending your best holiday wishes? Check these posts.

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This is a kind of tradition in post-Soviet countries, especially in Ukraine and Russia! A lot of people here are orthodox, but still, it’s not a big deal for many people to break a Christmas fast, just to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A lot of them consider this holiday more important than Christmas.


I agree that New Year’s holiday is more important for modern people in Russia and in Ukraine. We are waiting for the miracle, for presents in the end of the Year. There are not so many people such religious as they were earlier that’s why many of them don’t celebrate Christmas