OTTAWA, Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Tonight as the first star appears in the
sky, Ukrainian Canadian families will gather to celebrate Christmas
Eve. Sviata Vecheria (the Christmas Eve Supper) is steeped in
tradition and features a humble and reverent 12-dish meal in honour of
the twelve apostles. The dishes contain no meat or dairy products to
show respect for the animals that shared their place of shelter and
were present for the birth of Christ.
On Jan. 6 (Christmas Eve) the traditional dinner table has a few sheaves
of hay under an embroidered tablecloth as a reminder of the manger in
Bethlehem. A decorated sheaf of wheat or "didukh", symbolizing the
harvest, is placed in a corner of the room under an icon, with each
kernel of the didukh denoting the spiritual presence of family and
forebears. All are called to the table when the first star appears in
the eastern evening sky.
"Christmas on Jan. 7 is a centuries old tradition based on the old
Julian Calendar that is celebrated by both Ukrainian Orthodox and
Catholic Churches," commented UCC National President Paul Grod, UCC
National President. "We wish our Orthodox and Eastern-rite Catholic
brethren all the best during this Christmas season."
Carolling begins after the Sviata Vecheria as groups of carollers go
from house to house. Ukrainian Christmas carols ("koliadky") are a
part of the rich Ukrainian oral tradition and through them one can
trace the Ukrainian historical experience to antiquity.
Khrystos rodyvsia! (Christ is born!) "Slavim Yoho!" (Let Us Glorify
Him!) - Merry Christmas!
SOURCE: Ukrainian Canadian Congress
For further information:
UCC Media Contact: