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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law introducing a new date for Christmas in Ukraine. From now on, it will be celebrated not on January 7, but on December 25. The dates of several secular holidays have also changed.

In mid-July, the draft law was passed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine.

Pursuant to the law of July 28, the celebration of the Day of Ukrainian Statehood was moved to July 15, and the Day of Defenders of Ukraine will now be celebrated on October 1, and not on October 14.

Modifications regarding Christmas were introduced in connection with the announcement by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UKGK) of changes in the celebration of liturgical holidays. On February 6, 2023, the head of this Church, Światosław Shevchuk, announced the departure from the Julian calendar used so far and the transition from September 1 to a new style of celebrating permanent holidays. The decision to change the calendar was accelerated by Russian aggression against Ukraine, explained Father Ihor Jaciw, director of the communication department of the UKGK.

The head of the UKGK pointed out that the faithful who are not ready for such changes will be able to use the Julian calendar until 2025. He also assured that the change of the liturgical calendar is the result of consultations with the clergy and parishioners.

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Previously, Christmas was celebrated on January 7. In the case of movable holidays, such as Easter, the existing rules will be maintained.

Many Ukrainians consider the UKGK to be the national church. In Ukraine, this Church has over 5 million followers. Earlier, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which obtained autocephaly in 2018, also announced that its parishes can switch to the liturgical calendar according to the new style.



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