Christmas Eve and Koliada

Today is Christmas Eve by the old calendar, and is still celebrated by millions of people around the world, especially in Eastern Europe.

The 6th of January is also the date of the beginning of Koliada, an ancient Slavic winter festival that predates Christianity. The festival is now incorporated into Christmas festivities.

Koliada in the Mogilev region of Belarus at Christmastime in 1903.

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Калядоўшчыкi_Горацкага_павета_,_Магілёўская_губерня,_1903гKoliada in the Mogilev region of Belarus at Christmastime in 1903. X

The festival in Lviv, Ukraine.

Парад_вуличних_вертепів_у_Львові,_початок_2010-х Winter Koliada and Ukrainian Christmas in Lviv Ukraine

Soviet stamp of Ukraine

This Soviet stamp featuring Ukraine was issued in 1991, the year the USSR collapsed and Ukraine declared its independence.

Despite heavy restrictions on religion, Christmas was celebrated in various capacities during Soviet years, as this depiction of a wintry Christmas scene in a Ukrainian village shows.

Vintage Christmas decorations from Soviet Ukraine can be found for sale now.

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1991_cpa_6353a-ussr-stamp-for-ukraine-winter-christmas-1991

Vintage Ukrainian Christmas Card

Christmas is celebrated by Catholics and Orthodox Christians in the east of Europe in January. The 6th is Christmas Eve, and the time when the main Christmas meal is eaten.

Ukrainian artist Jacques Hnizdovsky created this card in the 1950s.

Hnizdovsky_Rizdvo3Jacques Hnizdovsky Christmas Card 1950s