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UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS

ON CHRISTMAS EVE "A HOLY SUPPER" IS SERVED WHEN THE FIRST EVENING
STAR APPEARS IN THE SKY. THE SUPPER CONSISTS OF NON-MEAT
FOODS, FOR THE DAY OF CHRISTMAS EVE IS DEVOTED TO PRAYER, FASTING
AND STRICT ABSTINENCE. THE FLOOR IS COVERED WITH STRAW AND THE
TABLE WITH HAY, A REMEMBRANCE THAT JESUS WAS BORN IN A STABLE
AND LAID IN A MANGER. A WHITE TABLE CLOTH IS SPREAD OVER
THE TABLE. ON THE CENTER OF THE TABLE A LARGE LIGHTED CANDLE
REPRESENTS THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. FOR SUPPER THERE ARE TWELVE
PLATES. IT BEGINS WITH A PRAYER. THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY
DISTRIBUTES "PHOSPHORA", LITTLE PIECES OF BREAD WITH HONEY.
SUPPER CONSISTS OF ITEMS SUCH AS KUTIA, BOILED WHEAT AND HONEY,
BORSCH, BEET SOUP, HOLUBUTSI, CABBAGE ROLLS, PYRAHY, BOILED
ROLLS FILLED WITH MASHED POTATOES, CABBAGE AND CHEESE, AND FISH.
EACH A REMEMBRANCE OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.
A SHEAF OF RYE IN THE CORNER OF THE ROOM IS A SYMBOL OF THE FERTILITY
OF THE UKRAINIAN SOIL. DURING SUPPER CAROLS ARE SUNG. GROUPS OF
CAROLERS VISIT THE HOME AND CAROL "KOLIADA" DURING THE EVENING.
A GROTTO IS CARRIED WITH THE SHEPHERDS AND MANGER AND ALSO THE
CAROLERS CARRY SIX OR EIGHT POINTED STARS WITH TWO SURFACES AND
A CANDLE IS PLACED BETWEEN THEM. THE CAROLERS REPRESENT THE
SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS, CAROLING IS POPULAR TO GLORIFY JESUS
AND MARY AND INSTILL RELIGIOUS TRUTHS TO THE PEOPLE. CAROLS
ORIGINATED IN THE 17 CENTURY. THE OLDEST IS "BOH PREDVICHNEY", THAT
IS "ETERNAL GOD IS BORN". THE CAROLS ARE IN TWO GROUPS, "KOLIADY"
AND "SCHEDRIVKY". THE FIRST GROUP IS RELIGIOUS AND THE SECOND
EXPRESSES GREETINGS PEOPLE GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH. AN EXAMPLE
IS "KHRYSTOS RAGHDAYETSIA" OR CHRIST IS BORN, THE ANSWER
"SLAVYTE YEHA" OR PRAISE HIM.

Submitter comment: THESE ARE VERY INVOLVED AND SYMBOLIC CUSTOMS FOR CHRISTMAS.
THEY ARE PRACTICED HERE AND IN THE UKRAINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.1224
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F455
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Moon
SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 02-00-1974

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