Christmas in Ukraine: History and Decorating Traditions

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19 december

Christmas is one of the most important and revered holidays in Ukraine, shrouded in rich traditions and deep historical roots. This holiday, which is celebrated on January 7 according to the Julian calendar, is a symbol of the birth of Jesus Christ and family comfort. Ukrainian Christmas combines spiritual rituals, folk customs and unique decorating traditions.

Christmas Symbols and Decorations

Variety of Decorations:

-Carols and Sorrows: These traditional Christmas songs sung by groups of carolers are an integral part of the celebration. Often the carolers dress in folk costumes and carry stars, a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem.

-Christmas Eve: Sviatvechir, or Christmas Eve, is the time when families gather around the festive table. Special attention is paid to serving and decorating the table with traditional dishes such as kutya, uzvar and twelve Lenten dishes.

Christmas Decorations in Ukraine

Christmas decorations in Ukraine are characterized by their uniqueness and deep symbolism, combining both traditional folk motifs and Christian elements.

Handmade jewelry and the use of natural materials:

- Embroidery: Ukrainian embroidery holds a special place in creating a festive mood. Colorful patterns on tablecloths, napkins, and even Christmas tree ornaments carry traditional Ukrainian motifs.

- Straw and paper toys: Christmas ornaments made of straw and paper are a traditional art. They can be found in the form of stars, wreaths, angels and various geometric shapes.

Christmas Tree:

- Christmas Tree Decorations: In addition to modern decorations, handmade toys, berries, nuts, embroidered ornaments, and even small bags of dried fruits and nuts can often be found on a Ukrainian Christmas tree.

- Candles and Lighting: Real candles used to be used on the Christmas tree, but now they have been replaced by safe LED counterparts. They create coziness and warmth in the house.


- Symbol of Harvest and Prosperity: Didukh is a bundle of cereals that is usually placed in Ukrainian homes at Christmas. It symbolizes a rich harvest, prosperity and connection with ancestors.

- Decorating the Didukh: It is traditionally decorated with ribbons, dried flowers and sometimes elements symbolizing health and happiness for the whole family are added.


- Traditional Nativity Theater: A creche is a miniature nativity scene depicting the birth of Christ. It can be simple or more elaborate, including figures of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, as well as shepherds and wise men.

- Homemade Werteep: Werteeps can be handmade using cardboard, wood, or fabric, which adds a personal and creative touch to this tradition.

Christmas Traditions

Family Customs:

-Christmas Gatherings: Families come together on Christmas Day to share the joy of the holiday, exchange gifts, and strengthen family bonds.

-Gift Exchange: The exchange of gifts at Christmas symbolizes giving and showing care for loved ones


Christmas in Ukraine is not just a holiday, it is a true embodiment of cultural heritage and family traditions. The decoration for Christmas in Ukraine reflects the richness and diversity of Ukrainian culture, each element of which is filled with deep meaning and history. These traditions continue to live and develop, passing from generation to generation and filling every home with the warmth and joy of Christmas.

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Christmas in Ukraine: Exploring History and Decoration Traditions