News

January 14, 2020

Happy Old New Year!


In the night of January 14, Ukrainian people celebrate Old New Year. This tradition appeared as the result of the transition from the Julian to Gregorian calendar in 1918.

The difference between the chronology systems was 13 days, thus January 1 in the Julian calendar became January 14 in the Gregorian calendar, and that is why the holiday is called Old New Year (which means New Year according to the old calendar).

On the eve of Old New Year, Ukrainians would celebrate Malanka or Shchedryi Vechir. It was accompanied by traditional New Year rituals of dressing up as animals and folklore characters, the favorite ones being Malanka, Vasyl, Old Man and Old Woman, Goat, Bear, Gypsy, Cat. After sunset and till midnight, boys and girls would go from house to house singing shchedrivky, wishing happiness and welfare to the hosts.

In the morning of January 14, on St. Vasyl’s Day, boys filled their gloves with grains of rye or wheat and began to sow, going from house to house — their own being the first one, then those of their family and neighbors — wishing the hosts health and good yield.

Happy Old New Year! May peace, harmony and prosperity reign in your homes!

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