Ukraine celebrates Christmas on December 25 for the first time, distancing itself from Russia – Times of India

Ukraine celebrates Christmas on December 25 for the first time, distancing itself from Russia - Times of India

Crivoronia: Christmas This year carries more spiritual weight for many Ukrainians because the country observed it on December 25 as a public holiday rather than at a later date. Russia.
The change was implemented in legislation signed by President Vladimir. Zielinski In July, the 22-month-old reflects Ukrainians’ disillusionment with the Russian invasion and the assertion of their national identity.
Ukraine Basically it is Orthodoxy Christian, but the faith is divided between two churches, one of which had a long association with the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which did not recognize the authority of the Russian Church and was considered schismatic, was fully recognized in 2019 by the highest Orthodox authority, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a branch of the Russian Church, announced in 2022 after the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war that it was severing ties with Moscow and considering itself independent. However, its parishes follow the same liturgical calendar as the Russian Church and celebrate Christmas on January 7.
Many Ukrainians embraced the move to celebrate Christmas with enthusiasm on December 25.
“This is historical justice,” said Yohan Konik, a 44-year-old serviceman who attended traditional ceremonies with his family at an open-air museum in Kiev. “We need to move forward not only with the world but with the traditions of our country and overcome the imperialist vestiges.”
In the village of Kryvorivnia, thousands of worshipers, many in traditional dress, including embroidered shirts called vyshyvankas, thronged the streets and walked to the town’s famous wooden church.
Krievonia, in the Carpathian Mountains, is about 800 kilometers (500 miles) west of the front line, but the war was on the worshippers’ minds. “People didn’t just come to celebrate, they came to pray,” said local priest Ivan Rybrook, who said the fighting had killed 16 people in a village of just 1,500 residents.
“People think we live here as safe as can be. Missiles don’t fly here, bombs don’t explode, but we’ve lost a lot of boys,” said 27-year-old Olha Menikh. The house of a soldier who was declared missing. “People don’t feel that kind of joy. Of course they do because of Christmas because it’s impossible not to feel the light of God in the heart. But the scale of the celebration, the nature of the celebration has clearly changed. . It’s not as cheerful and fun as it used to be.”
Oksana Poviakel, director of the Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine, where the Christmas celebrations took place, said observing the holiday on the 25th is “another important element of self-identity”.
“We are separating ourselves from the neighbor who is currently trying to destroy our state, who is killing our people, destroying our homes, and burning our land,” he said. Is.”
Asia Landrenko, 63, said she prays every day for her son, who is currently in the military. “The state of war affects everything, including the mood. The true celebration of Christmas will come after the victory, but as the Savior was born, so will our victory be.”


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