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Ukraine adds 2nd (Western) Christmas to official holidays



Lo! Ukraine has officially gotten itself two Christmases.Starting from this year, Ukraine will celebrate both the Western and Orthodox Christmas. Dec. 25, when Christmas is celebrated in most Western countries, an official holiday and a day off. Until now, only Orthodox Christmas, celebrated on Jan. 7, was an official holiday. This is when most of the country celebrates Christmas, including Orthodox Christians and the parishioners of Greek Byzantine Catholic Church, popular in the Western Ukraine. These churches follow the Julian calendar as opposed to the more modern Gregorian calendar, introduced in 16th century. Over the centuries, the less accurate Julian calendar has drifted out of sync with the Gregorian calendar: it is now two weeks behind.It is uncertain precisely how many Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, since there has never been a reliable large survey on religious belief in Ukraine. Source: Kyivpost
Published: 4 December 2017

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