The Christmas Chronicles: Eugy's Tales and Traditions from Ukraine

Meet the Maker

Hello everyone! This is Eugy! I’ve been living in Italy for many years, but I was born and raised in Ukraine. So today I’d like to share with you how we celebrate Christmas following Ukrainian traditions. Historically, in Ukraine, we (Orthodox Christians) celebrated Christmas according to the Julian calendar, which falls on January 7th. This year, a referendum was held in Ukraine, and as a result, we will now celebrate Christmas on December 25th, just like many others around the world. Imagine how exciting this is for me, having lived in a European country for many years!

The project

My festive mood this year is perfectly captured by these two Christmas cards! Simple yet elegant, they firstly reflect my new-found love for foiling, and secondly, they make a wonderful idea for a ‘last minute crafts’ project!

Clean lines and biblical motifs are what my heart desires this year, and the Fabulous Foiling Toner Card Fronts - Holy Night set has perfectly met this need of mine.

Words and Wishes

In Ukraine, the Christmas holidays last a whole two weeks! They start on January 6th with Christmas Eve and continue until January 14th, which marks the former New Year according to the Julian calendar. Therefore, we usually greet each other with:

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! 
Ukranian: З Новим Роком та Різдвом Христовим!

Happy Holidays!
Ukranian: Веселих Свят!

Also, we have a widespread tradition of sending letters and greeting cards to relatives and friends - this is exactly how I got involved in this hobby, cardmaking, looking for a way to create personalized cards myself! 

Tinsel and Traditions

On January 6th, families in Ukraine typically spend the day together at home. According to our traditions, on Christmas Eve, it is customary to prepare a special festive dinner, not just any dinner, but one consisting of TWELVE different dishes! This represents the number of apostles and the months in the year. Just imagine a table filled with all your favorite dishes at once – impressive, isn't it? But that’s just for comparison and to give you a sense of scale because, in reality, all these dishes are supposed to be meatless. 

And my favorite dish for Christmas Eve is the traditional Christmas Kutya (Kutia), which should always be tasted first. It's a sweet wheatberries pudding enhanced with honey, poppy seeds, nuts, and candied/dried fruits. 

Each ingredient of this dish carries a special significance: the grain symbolizes fertility, poppy seeds and nuts represent abundance, and honey denotes happiness and enjoyment of life. Additionally, it's quite simple to prepare, and you can find the recipe here:

Sounds of the Season

Another Ukrainian tradition during the Christmas holidays is to sing a lot. 

Everyone, young and old, knows a multitude of folk songs - carols and New Year’s songs. I'm willing to bet that at least once, you’ve heard the English version of the most famous Ukrainian Christmas song, the New Year’s song “Shchedryk” - known as “Carol of the Bells”! During Christmas and New Year, we keep a lot of sweets at home to give to children who go caroling and singing New Year’s songs. It's somewhat like Halloween, but the aim is to praise Christ and honor the hosts of the house, your loved ones, and neighbors.

Festive Farewell 

I hope you found it interesting to learn about Christmas from another part of the world! Big hugs and Happy Holidays!


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  • Angy Hughes on

    I love hearing about Ukrainian Christmas traditions. Such a wonderful treat to see how things are different yet the same around the world. Thank you for sharing!

  • Mary-Anne V on

    Very fun hearing about your Ukrainian traditions. Beautiful cards with the images of the Christmas many celebrate.

  • Carrianne Banul on

    Beautiful cards, love the foiled look! two weeks of celebrating sounds fun! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your holidays!

  • Vicki Rozema on

    Dear Eugy- Thanks for sharing your lovely Ukrainian traditions. Your cards are beautiful. I know that you have lived in Italy for many years, but if you still have family in Ukraine, I hope they are safe and can find some peace and rest during these trying times.

  • Jackie Peduzzi on

    Your cards are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing! Merry Christmas!

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