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Ukraine has made a significant cultural shift by changing the date of its official Christmas holiday…

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Ukraine has made a significant cultural shift by changing the date of its official Christmas holiday from January 7 to December 25. The move, which was ratified by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is seen as another step towards “de-Russification” and distancing the country from its ties with Russia.[0]

The decision to change the date of Christmas in Ukraine reflects the ongoing efforts to assert the country's independence and break away from Russia's cultural and political influence.[1] It is part of a larger process of dismantling symbols associated with Russia, the Soviet Union, and communism.[2]

The change in the Christmas holiday is not only a symbolic gesture but also a reflection of Ukraine's desire to align itself more closely with Western traditions. By celebrating Christmas on December 25, Ukraine is embracing the same date observed by most of Europe and the United States.

The move away from the Russian tradition of celebrating Christmas on January 7 is significant because it breaks ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been a staunch supporter of Russia's actions in Ukraine. The Russian Orthodox Church and its leader, Patriarch Kirill, have openly endorsed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and have framed it as a clash between Russian and Western values.[3]

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, on the other hand, has been asserting its independence from Moscow since 2019 when it formally gained autonomy to form the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.[4] This move was prompted by Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist movements in eastern Ukraine.[0]

The legislation signed by President Zelensky not only changes the date of Christmas but also moves two other state holidays. The Day of Ukrainian Statehood, which commemorates the country's independence, moves from July 28 to July 15, while Defenders Day, which honors veterans, shifts from October 14 to October 1.[5]

The decision to change the dates of these holidays is part of Ukraine's broader effort to distance itself from Russian traditions and establish its own identity. By moving these holidays, Ukraine is asserting its independence and affirming its desire to live according to its own traditions and values.

The change in the Christmas holiday has been met with mixed reactions in Ukraine. Some Ukrainians support the shift as a way to align the country with Western traditions and distance it from Russia. Others, however, continue to celebrate Christmas on both December 25 and January 7, honoring both the Western and Orthodox calendars.[6]

The move to celebrate Christmas on December 25 is just one example of Ukraine's ongoing efforts to assert its independence and break away from Russia's influence. As the country continues to navigate its path forward, it is likely that more changes will be made to further solidify its own cultural and political identity.

In conclusion, Ukraine's decision to change the date of its official Christmas holiday from January 7 to December 25 is a significant move towards asserting its independence and distancing itself from Russia. By aligning itself with Western traditions, Ukraine is signaling its desire to break away from Russian cultural and political influence. This change, along with the move of other state holidays, reflects Ukraine's ongoing efforts to establish its own identity and traditions. As the country continues on this path, it will be interesting to see how its relationship with Russia evolves and how its own cultural and political landscape develops.

0. “Ukraine changes Christmas celebration date to 25 December in snub to Russia” Firstpost, 29 Jul. 2023, https://www.firstpost.com/india/ukraine-changes-christmas-celebration-date-to-25-december-in-snub-to-russia-12932792.html

1. “Ukraine's newest attack on Russia? Moving Christmas” The Independent, 29 Jul. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/ukraine/ukraine-russia-christmas-putin-war-b2384152.html

2. “Ukraine moves Christmas date to 25 December in snub to Russia” The Guardian, 28 Jul. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/28/ukraine-moves-christmas-date-to-25-december-in-snub-to-russia

3. “Ukraine moves Christmas to December 25, distancing itself from Russian tradition” WLS-TV, 30 Jul. 2023, https://abc7chicago.com/news-ukraine-christmas-russian-orthodox-church/13570226/

4. “Zelenskyy signs law moving Christmas in Ukraine to December 25” Orthodox Times – Orthodoxtimes.com, 28 Jul. 2023, https://orthodoxtimes.com/zelenskyy-signs-law-moving-christmas-in-ukraine-to-december-25/

5. “Ukraine changes date of Christmas, in slap at ‘Russian heritage’” POLITICO Europe, 29 Jul. 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-change-date-christmas-russia-heritage-volodymyr-zelenskyy/

6. “President Zelenskyy changes law so Ukraine celebrates Christmas on different day to Russia” LBC, 28 Jul. 2023, https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/ukraine-changes-christmas-date-russia/

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