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Third of Ukrainians now celebrate Christmas on 25 December, not 7 January

The Christmas tree of 2022 was installed in the Kharkiv subway due to the danger of Russian missile strikes
Third of Ukrainians now celebrate Christmas on 25 December, not 7 January

Six years after Ukraine started marking Christmas as an official state holiday on 25 December, in line with the majority of the world’s Christians, in addition to the Julian-calendar date of 7 January, over a third of Ukrainians now hold celebrations on the day.

A poll by the Sociological agency Rating has found that 36% of Ukrainians celebrate Chistmas either exclusively on 25 December (11%) or both 25 December and 7 January (25%). Meanwhile, most Ukrainians still stick to the traditional, Julian-calendar date of 7 January – 55%.

The number of those wanting to celebrate Christmas on 25 December has risen over 2021:

Source: Rating poll, translated by Euromaidan Press

The number of those who support changing the date of Christmas from 7 January to 25 December has grown over the last seven years. Currently, 44% of Ukrainians say they either absolutely or probably support this measure. Meanwhile, 31% of Ukrainians say they are absolutely or probably against the move.

Source: Rating poll, translated by Euromaidan Press

Ukraine introduced two state holidays for Christmas in 2017 in a move that many saw as westward leaning.

Prior to that, Ukraine had an official state holiday for Christmas only on 7 January. Despite being known as the “Orthodox Christmas,” the date of 7 January for Christmas is observed only by 56% of the world’s Orthodox Christians (and 6.6% of all Christians). They use the older calendar of Julius Caesar (also known as the Julian calendar) instead of the one developed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 (the Gregorian calendar), used by most countries today.

In Europe, Moldova, Belarus, and Albania also have two state holidays for Christmas, on 25 December, and 7 January.


Read more about why Ukraine has two Christmases in our materials below:

Ukraine gets two Christmases – December 25 and January 7

Why do most Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on January 7, not December 25?

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