December 11 – January 7

Our annual outreach to generous community members to ask for your support for the year ahead.

Let the season of love, hope, giving, and celebrating our rich traditions begin!

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Learn more about Ukrainian Canadian Christmas Traditions

Поринь у світ різдвяних традицій з нами!

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This month, we’re bringing you a special journey into the heart of Ukrainian Canadian traditions during the festive season.

Canada has also become home to more than 200,000 displaced persons from Ukraine who will be celebrating Christmas in Canada, with thousands more expected next year.

Today, as we launch our Koliada 2023 campaign we are pleased to share three guides to help Canadians and Ukrainians to learn about our many holiday traditions. Read in Ukrainian, English, and French!

But that’s not all! Each day, we’ll be sharing special Christmas messages.🎅 Join us in celebrating the magic of the season!

 

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Click here to watch the Documentary “Ukrainian Winter Holidays”

Join us as we explore unique stories from our communities, starting with a documentary by Laura Boulton from 1942.

Dive into the Ukrainian communities of the Canadian prairies in the 1940s, as this short film unveils their enchanting Christmas rituals. Still honoring the Julian calendar, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th. On the magical Christmas Eve, a feast begins under the first star in the sky, accompanied by traditional foods. They sing carols, dance in vibrant costumes, and gather in churches the next day for a solemn and heartfelt worship service.

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Something special: Introducing UCC Christmas Card 

For the past four years, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) has been pleased to partner with the Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Lviv, Ukraine, to showcase art from the children they work with on our Christmas cards. 

This year too, their “Winter Day Carolling” card reminds us of a cherished holiday tradition that brings hope and light into our houses during the coldest months. 

This December, as a token of our gratitude to our cherished Koliada donors, we have a special gift! 🎁✨ 

Everyone who makes a donation of $100 or more this December will have their name put into a draw for the original painting “Winter Day Carolling” by Oleksandra Rohalska of the Dzherelo Rehabilitation Centre in Lviv. 

Join us in celebrating the power of art, unity, and generosity this holiday season.

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In the remote beauty of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Roman Dzioba shares his unique journey of celebrating Ukrainian Christmas amidst the northern lights and snow-covered landscapes.

For Roman, the joy of the season comes with its own set of challenges. “One of the biggest hurdles is getting traditional foods,” he reveals. His Christmas Eve table tells a tale of fusion—traditional varenyky share space with non-traditional delights like fried shrimp.

Following tradition, Dzioba also placed an additional set of dishes on the table in honour of friends and family who couldn’t join him and cloves of garlic around the table, which are said to ward off evil spirits. “It’s about family and friends coming together,” Roman emphasizes, echoing the essence of the festive season.🎄

Roman takes pride in preserving the spirit of the 12-dish feast, each dish representing an apostle. His favorite? The special Christmas borscht with mushroom-stuffed dumplings, affectionately known as vushka, or “small ears.”

Celebrating in Nunavut comes with its unique challenges—limited community and scarce Ukrainian foods. Yet, Roman’s festive spirit shines bright, adding a touch of Ukrainian Christmas magic to the snowy landscapes of the North.

In this winter tale, Roman invites us to share in the warmth and traditions that make Ukrainian Christmas in Nunavut truly special.

Stay tuned for more community spotlights and festive tales! 📖🌠

Photo courtesy of Roman Dzioba
Hyperlink: https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/a-ukrainian-christmas-in-nunavut/

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Embarking on a Festive Journey: “First Christmas in Canada” 🇨🇦🎄


Click here to watch the First Christmas in Canada – Перше Різдво в Канаді 

As a part of our Koliada campaign this month, we are thrilled to present a video from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council titled “First Christmas in Canada.” Join us in extending a warm welcome to new immigrants from Ukraine as they share their traditional greetings and carols with Manitobans and beyond. 🎶✨

Catch every moment by watching the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD0IsenD67Q

Stay tuned for daily updates, special messages, and glimpses of these magical moments.

Video courtesy of Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Prov Council

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Throwback to a Heartwarming Christmas Gesture! 🎁❤️

Let’s take a moment to rewind to a special time when the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Vancouver, with the incredible support of the Holy Eucharist Cathedral and Kozak restaurant, delivered packages of Holy Supper to Ukrainian seniors on Christmas Eve.🎄

In the spirit of the season, this initiative ensured that Ukrainian elderlies experienced the warmth of the Christmas spirit and received thoughtful gifts. A heartfelt “Thank you” echoes to the dedicated volunteers—Natasha Jatskevich, Sofiya Pylypenko, Yulie Shokalyuk, Olga Zarudina, and Iryna Shyroka—whose passion and dedication made this beautiful gesture a reality.

What a heartwarming initiative, showcasing the power of community and the joy of giving during the festive season.

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Flashback to a Magical Christmas Moment! 🌟🎄

Click here to watch the full video “Christmas Greetings to Ukrainians Everywhere!”

Let’s journey back to December 2017 when the Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton orchestrated a festive surprise at Londonderry Mall. In the true spirit of the season, they enlisted the help of a stranger to capture a simple Christmas greeting on video. Little did the unsuspecting mall-goers know, they were in for an unexpected treat!

As the stranger hit record, the air suddenly filled with the harmonious melodies of the Ukrainian Male Chorus, transforming the mall into a spontaneous stage for a breathtaking Christmas performance. The magic of the season echoed through the halls, leaving smiles on the faces of everyone fortunate enough to witness this impromptu holiday serenade.

A heartfelt thank you to the Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton for gifting the community with such a delightful and unexpected Christmas memory. 🌐🎶✨

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This year many of us have already greeted Святий Миколай, and for others he is on his way soon!

Today our UCC staff team are pleased to share best wishes for you and your family. Each of us is looking forward to special celebrations with our friends and family in the coming weeks. When we gather around our Sviat Vechir tables we will remember our dearly departed as well as those fighting in the trenches for Ukraine. More than ever before, our beautiful Christmas traditions are a reminder of the rich Ukrainian culture which Russia seeks to destroy.

We want to express our sincere thank you to everyone who has already donated to the 2023 KOLIADA Campaign and encourage others to do the same. Donations to the UCC Charitable & Educational Trust help ensure that we’re able to offer programs and services in the year ahead.

Our small team works hard to support our wonderful local and national volunteer leaders. Our priority remains supporting Ukraine’s heroic defense of freedom in Europe. We continue to work on everything from Holodomor Education and Awareness, our Parliamentary Internship Program and of course helping displaced Ukrainian refugees. We represent our community at the national level at Parliamentary Committees and with policy makers as they make decisions on supporting Ukraine.

As new Ukrainian communities across Canada continue to grow, they are reaching out to us about joining the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. We look forward to continuing our work for you in 2024!

Happy Holidays! Веселих Свят! Joyeux Noel!

Lesia Skyba
Orest Zakydalsky
Mariana Savka
Lesia Demkowicz
Tara Katrusiak Baran
Marichka Bokovnia
Ihor Michalchyshyn

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Today, we celebrate the release of our French version of the Winter Donor Report in the Koliada campaign!✨

Dive into the Bulletin on our website! Discover captivating insights and updates by following the link: Winter Donor Report, and of course, the English version is also available for exploration. Check it out now!

With your help and the inspiring commitment of thousands of volunteers from coast to coast to coast, the UCC continues to work hard to provide much-needed support to Ukraine and to so many Ukrainians who have found shelter in Canada from Russia’sgenocidal war.

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In the spirit of our Koliada campaign, we are thrilled to shine a light on the Christmas International Peace Light tradition.

The International Peace Light embarks on a journey across various countries, reaching Canada to be distributed by Plastuny to communities nationwide.

Symbolizing peace, hope, and love that grace the holiday season, this radiant light holds a special place in our hearts. A heartfelt thank you extends to all the dedicated Plastuny involved in bringing this special light into our cherished spaces.

Additionally, we acknowledge the significance of the International Peace Light, a tradition for over three decades.

Plast members in Ukraine have actively participated for 20 years in transmitting and spreading this flame across the country. This winter, as Ukraine faces challenges, the glow of the International Peace Light becomes a symbol of unity and resilience in the fight for a free and peaceful future. The primary goal of this initiative is to share the symbolic fire from the birthplace of JesusChrist with all who need it, symbolizing goodwilland support.

United, we believe that Light will triumph over Darkness!

Photo courtesy of Plast Canada – Пласт Канада

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Celebrate the upcoming holiday season with our ongoing Koliada campaign! 🌟 Today, we’re excited to share a captivating movie – “Teach Me to Dance” (1978) directed by Anne Wheeler. Immerse yourself in this heartwarming drama where Lesia persuades her friend Sarah to embrace Ukrainian culture through a dance performance, overcoming the challenges posed by societal prejudices.

Despite Sarah’s father’s resistance to the growing Ukrainian community, the unwavering bond between the two girls becomes a testament to the power of friendship and shared traditions.🎄✨

Video courtesy of NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA.
Watch now: Teach Me to Dance 

Stay tuned for more daily Christmas messages as we continue to unfold festive tales. 🎅

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As a part of our Koliada 2023 campaign, we’re unwrapping a special holiday gift for you – the UCC Rizdvo Playlist! 🎁🎶 Immerse yourself in the festive spirit with enchanting Ukrainian songs. If you have a favorite that’s not on the list, share it with us, and we’ll add it to make this playlist even more magical! ✨🎵

Here’s the link to enjoy the festive tunes: Koliada 2023

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Christmas is just around the corner, and the festive preparations are in full swing! 🎄✨

As part of our Koliada campaign, today we’re diving into a cherished element of Rizdvo – kutia. This sweet dish, made with boiled wheat, poppyseed, and honey, holds a special place in Ukrainian Christmas traditions. Each family has its unique way of preparing kutia, and today we’re excited to share the recipe from Yevhen Klopotenko, a chef who played a significant role in advocating for Ukrainian culinary heritage. 🍲💙

Find the Kutia recipe at https://klopotenko.com/kutya-z-pshenitsi/ and take the opportunity to delve into a collection of Ukrainian traditional and modern recipes available on the website.

In 2020, Yevhen Klopotenko started a campaign, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Parliament, advocating for the inclusion of borscht in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This campaign highlighted the profound cultural importance of Ukrainian cuisine.

Let’s celebrate the season with the warmth of traditional dishes and the spirit of unity! 🌟

Feel free to share your family recipes in the comments; you might just help someone find the perfect dish for Rizdvo!

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Сердечно Вітаємо Вас із Різдвом Христовим та Новим Роком!

Watch the video greeting for a Christmas message from UCC leadership across Canada.🎄🌟

As our Board and staff reflect on the passing year, our three words are gratitude, resilience and hope.

We are grateful to our branches, provincial councils, organizations and individual community members across the country. We continued growing our community, marked the largest Vyshyvanka Day celebration in every part of Canada, and launched biweekly expert series to support displaced Ukrainians.

Each and every one have shown tremendous resilience and commitment throughout the year. Thank you for supporting and participating in our campaigns; thank you for stepping up as advocates for Ukraine and Ukrainians in Canada.

Finally, Christmas lights symbolize hope for the better times. May the new year bring us victory! May we find strength in the memories we hold dear, and may those departed ever be in God’s memory.

Following the tradition of gift giving, we offer you our Community Christmas Calendar, Winter Donor Reports in English and French, and a special gift for Koliada donors. Everyone who makes a donation of $100 or more this December will have their name put into a draw for an original painting by the children of the Dzherelo Rehabilitation Centre from Lviv, Ukraine; monthly donors are automatically included!

Happy Holidays! Веселих Свят! Joyeux Noel!

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Rizdvo is here!

We invite you to explore the article from Ukrainian.ua “Ukrainian Christmas traditions” that beautifully captures our cherished Ukrainian Christmas traditions.

May this festive season be a time of togetherness, warmth, and the joy of celebrating our unique Ukrainian identity. From traditional dishes to heartfelt customs, let’s savor the magic of Rizdvo and create lasting memories with loved ones.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a joyous Rizdvo!

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Christ is Born!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

My name is Hania Szyptur and I want to share with you about how my family will be celebrating Christmas this year. This is the first time that we are celebrating Christmas on December 25th, and it was really a big adjustment to lose two weeks in my usual preparation calendar. Last week I made varenyky, and vushka and holubtsi, and medivnyk.

However I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to welcome family from near and far to my Christmas table this year, with our hearts and minds with Ukraine.

Slava Ukraini!

 

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As we unwrap the magic behind each window of our Koliada campaign, today’s spotlight falls on the enchanting tradition that is Shumka’s Ukrainian Nutcracker, proudly hailed as Canada’s Ukrainian Nutcracker.

✨ What is a Ukrainian Nutcracker? It’s a symphony of tradition, a fusion of Ukrainian magic interwoven with the timeless classic we all hold dear. Picture orchestral melodies by Ukrainian composers dancing in harmony with the familiar tunes of Christmas. Imagine Ukrainian Christmas carolers serenading us with tales of the miraculous birth of Christ.

“Celebrating our traditions and heritage when Ukraine is under attack, is important to each and every one of the cast and crew who make Shumka’s Nutcracker a reality. Given the world situation, this show is dedicated to artists of Ukraine. Those lost in the war and those fighting through their art.” – Ukrainian Shumka Dancers & Shumka School of Dance

🩰 Dance, Culture, and Collaboration: Shumka’s Ukrainian Nutcracker is not just a performance; it’s a celebration of heritage. Ukrainian dance, powerful and evocative, meets the grace of classical movement from esteemed guests, Honoured Artists of Ukraine. The stage becomes a canvas painted with vibrant hues of beautiful costumes, a design that pays homage to our culture, and choreography, a graceful nod to our roots.

🌟 A Collaboration Beyond Borders: Shumka’s Ukrainian Nutcracker is not just a performance; it’s a testament to the artistic union between Ukraine and Canada. “We have presented a production that highlights the magic of Shumka’s Ukrainian Nutcracker, created by honoured artists of Ukraine in conjunction with artists in Canada.

This is Shumka’s tribute to that artistic union and ongoing collaboration between Ukraine and Canada…now more than ever. “ – Ukrainian Shumka Dancers & Shumka School of Dance

Today, we celebrate Shumka’s Ukrainian Nutcracker — a dazzling showcase of resilience, unity, and the enduring magic that arises when cultures come together on the stage.

Merry Christmas, and may the stage continue to be a canvas for cultural symphonies that resonate far and wide.

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The important work of the UCC this year was made possible by you – our donors. As we near the end of the year, I ask that you join me in supporting the UCC.

Share a message on social media, email your friends and family, and mention you are a proud supporter of the vital work of the UCC C&E Trust and the UCC.

It’s easy, safe, and secure to use our online donation form, or if you prefer to mail a cheque, you can do to our Winnipeg office (address below). For more information visit ucc.ca.

Слава Україні!
З Новим Pоком та Різдвом Христовим!
Cassian Soltykevych
UCC National Secretary

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As an integral part of our Koliada campaign, let’s delve into the significance of the Didukh in Ukrainian Christmas traditions.

The Didukh is a symbolic sheaf of wheat traditionally placed in Ukrainian homes during the festive season. It embodies the spirit of the harvest and serves as a connection to ancestral spirits, symbolizing prosperity and the continuity of life. Families adorn the Didukh with various grains and symbolic elements, creating a beautiful and meaningful centerpiece that reflects the deep-rooted cultural importance of celebrating the Christmas season.

Join us in exploring the rich tapestry of Ukrainian traditions, where each element, like the Didukh, weaves a story of heritage and continuity.

#UkrainianChristmasMagic #Koliada2023

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Koliadky, is an integral part of Ukrainian Christmas celebrations.

Ukrainian caroling is more than just music; it’s a cherished community tradition that fosters connections and spreads the magic of the season. 🎄✨ Families welcome carolers into their homes, offering treats and warm hospitality in return for the uplifting tunes. This festive exchange captures the essence of unity, goodwill, and the joyous spirit of the holidays.

The beautiful melodies of Koliadky echo the rich cultural tapestry of Ukraine, with each song carrying its own significance and history.

 

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It’s December 31st, and my turn to pen a note to our loyal friends and supporters as 2023 comes to an end. We end the calendar year with another wave of Russian attacks across Ukraine, a stark reminder of Russia’s ongoing genocidal war on the Ukrainian people.

I’m writing to you from Winnipeg, where sitting at my parent’s dining room table I’ve been home for Christmas with family and friends. It’s the first time in a few years that we’ve had everyone together around the big Christmas table.

The power of ritual and tradition is comforting at a time of uncertainty. Being able to spend this time with our families reminds us how lucky we are, and how much we owe to those who defend our freedom. My social media feed is full of messages from Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines. We know that hundreds of thousands of brave Ukrainians will not be home with their families for Christmas. They are defending Ukraine – and Europe – from Russian tyranny. May God protect the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In the past week I’ve been asked many times to make predictions about what will happen in Ukraine in 2024. What we know is that Ukraine is resilient, that the Ukrainian people are determined and that our role is to continue to support them in this fight, to their victory. As I said to the National Defense Committee a few weeks ago, we cannot allow ourselves to get tired about what is the largest war in Europe since the Second World War. May the New Year bring Victory to Ukraine.

There are many challenges ahead, challenges which Ukraine and our community will face together, united, strong, and determined. As a community funded voice, we ask for your support to help make our work possible. I am so thankful for the thousands of people across the country for their generous support of the UCC.

Slava Ukraini!

Ihor Michalchyshyn
UCC CEO and Executive Director

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Thank you to our valued donors for another successful Koliada Campaign! We thank you immensely for your generous donations that will support various Ukrainian charitable programs across Canada in 2024. As the year comes to an end and we move forward into a new year, let us not forget all the wonderful memories about Christmas’ past.

My fondest memories of “Rizdvo” are with my Baba and Dido (Stara and Starey as they called each other) on the 6th and 7th of January. From the delicious 12 homemade dishes, various sweets, unlimited port wine that came from brown jugs, to the joy and love in my grandparents’ eyes, we gathered around a small extended kitchen table.

With Christmas carols playing in the background, we marveled that Baba could prepare such a feast over a span of a few days – all fresh! Although I have my mother’s recipe notes, the dishes never come out quite the same, but I still continue trying to recreate Baba’s traditional dishes.

May your hearts be warm with the memories and beauty of Ukrainian Christmas and may the coming year bring you moments of joy, opportunities for growth and the strength to overcome any challenges.

Happy New Year!
Alanna Mysak
UCC National Treasurer

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🔔 Uncover the magic of the season with the enchanting Ukrainian carol, “Shchedryk”! 🎶

Though you might not realize it, you’ve likely encountered this timeless melody, better known as the “Carol of the Bells.” Originally composed by Mykola Leontovych at the turn of the 20th century, “Shchedryk” draws inspiration from ancient Ukrainian folk songs.

As part of our Koliada campaign, take a moment to listen and immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of this beloved Christmas tune. Let the harmonious notes of “Shchedryk” resonate with the festive spirit and connect you to the heartwarming traditions of Ukrainian Christmas.

We highly encourage you to visit the website https://ukraine.ua/carol-of-the-bells/ to learn more about the history of this carol that you might’ve never heard of before. 📖

Share your thoughts or memories related to this iconic carol in the comments, and let’s celebrate the magic of the season together!

Credit for the captivating images in this post goes to the talented team at https://ukraine.ua/carol-of-the-bells/.

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🎉 Get ready to dance the night away at Malanka!

Malanka is just around the corner, and the festivities are set to be spectacular! Follow the link shared at the end of the post to discover the details of the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYM) Malanka events happening in Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Mississauga.

Have plans for Malanka or know of an exciting celebration? Share the details in our Facebook or Instagram page in the comments section! Let’s spread the joy and make sure everyone is informed about the upcoming Malanka events.

Take a glimpse at CYM Malanka 2023 https://youtu.be/G8wppwyESbE?si=yNEcZeInXrCmu0Rg Thank you Kontakt Ukrainian Television Network for this wonderful look into Malanka.

Link to Malanka Details: https://us9.campaign-archive.com/?e=test_email&u=596ff6cee01201fb363bc0e49&id=8c6cd3aa16&fbclid=IwAR1sbIuFFpPaY1CVfVhjBd2IUltqOvqO_TO3UrrDqP_Jmeecu84hvEB2W9g

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As a delightful segment of our Koliada campaign today, we’re thrilled to share a video featuring Cathy and Oksana as they delve into their favorite Ukrainian Christmas traditions on the TV show “Ukrainian Connections”, with a special performance like the beautiful Bandura Christmas carol by Lisa Klymenko.

And if you’ve never come across “Ukrainian Connections,” we encourage you to explore their page. There, you’ll discover interviews and stories from local Ukrainians and their friends in Thunder Bay.

Experience the joy of Ukrainian Christmas traditions and celebrations with this charming video. Watch Now!

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Сердечно Вітаємо Вас з Різдвом Христовим та Новим Роком!

As our Board and staff reflect on the passing year, our three words are gratitude, resilience and hope.

We are grateful to our branches, provincial councils, organizations and individual community members across the country. We continued growing our community, marked the largest Vyshyvanka Day celebration in every part of Canada, and launched biweekly expert series to support displaced Ukrainians.

Each and every one have shown tremendous resilience and commitment throughout the year. Thank you for supporting and participating in our campaigns; thank you for stepping up as advocates for Ukraine and Ukrainians in Canada.

Finally, Christmas lights symbolize hope for the better times. May the new year bring us victory! May we find strength in the memories we hold dear, and may those departed ever be in God’s memory.

Happy Holidays! Веселих Свят! Joyeux Noel!

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🎉Gratitude and Traditions: Wrapping Up the Joyful Koliada Season🌟

As we bid farewell to the festive season, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for the joyous journey we shared during our Koliada campaign over the past couple of weeks. The warmth of community, the resonance of traditions, and the spirit of unity have made this holiday season truly special.

Reflecting on the passing year, our hearts resonate with gratitude, resilience, and hope. We are thankful to our branches, provincial councils, organizations, and individual community members across the country who have contributed to the growth and vibrancy of our community.

Your resilience and commitment have been nothing short of inspiring. Thank you for supporting and actively participating in our campaigns, for being the voices that echo the strength of our community.

For those who may have missed any of our Koliada posts, fear not! All the festive moments, insightful stories, and cultural treasures are neatly stored on our website.

As we wrap up the Koliada campaign, we extend our warmest wishes for the New Year. May the memories we hold dear bring us strength, and may the light of hope guide us towards better times. Happy Holidays! Веселих Свят! Joyeux Noel! 🌟🎄

Download our guides to learn about Christmas traditions!

Curious to know what your Ukrainian neighbours and friends are doing for Christmas?

Learn about the rich heritage of traditions and customs that are celebrated on either December 25th or January 6th (or both!)

Дізнайтесь як святкуватимуть ваші друзі та сусіди, яких звичаїв та традицій притримуються на Різдво!

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Share the beauty of Christmas holiday celebrations with others!

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