Christmas is a public holiday in Ukraine same as in the United States. It’s used to be celebrated on January 7 (Julian calendar) and nowadays it began to be celebrated both in January and on December 25 (Gregorian calendar).
Religious Ukrainians usually go on a fast before Christmas and with the beginning of the holiday, these people can start eating dishes containing meat and milk products. Those people who live in rural areas traditionally used to slaughter pigs in order to cook different meat dishes in preparation for Christmas. On the Christmas Eve itself people eat kutia – a cereal dish, main ingredients of which are wheatberries, poppy seeds and honey.
Historically young fellows were gathering on Christmas together and went to carol and sing kolyadkas – the traditional Christmas songs. Singing kolyadkas is a very common tradition in modern Ukraine as well.
Parents with kids take part in different sorts of nativity plays (verteps), visit Christmas markets, sing songs and dance in groups.