Ukrainians in London to celebrate Christmas on January 7th

Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Duke St, Mayfair, LondonUkrainians, together with other Eastern Rite and Orthodox  Christians who follow the Julian calendar, will be celebrating Christmas on January 7th. Approximately 30,000 Ukrainians in London will rejoice with their families, starting with a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. A midnight liturgy will be held the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Mayfair, central London, celebrated by the residing Ukrainian bishop and clergy.

‘Ukrainians living in London are very lucky to have an opportunity to celebrate Christmas twice – first on December 25th, and again on January 7th’, commented Andy Hunder, Director of the Ukrainian Institute in London.

‘Living in London we first celebrate together with our friends here in the UK, and then again on January 7thwith our Ukrainian friends and family. The former is more commercialised; the latter focuses more on the birth of Christ and traditional values. Life is too short to celebrate Christmas only once a year,’  Hunder said.

The majority of Eastern Rite and Orthodox Christians follow the Julian calendar, which runs 13 days after the ‘new’ or Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church is the world’s largest Eastern Rite Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See. Under the Soviet Union, for forty-three years, the Ukrainian Catholic Church was the single largest banned religious community in the world.