When will Ukrainians celebrate St. Nicholas Day in 2023: the date has changed

Yulia PoteriankoNews
Saint Nicholas the Miracle Worker is most loved by children

Every year, St. Nicholas Day marks the beginning of the winter holiday season in our country. But this year, due to the transition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to the New Julian calendar, the dates of all religious holidays have shifted back by 13 days. Accordingly, the Christmas cycle with all its celebrations will begin earlier.

According to OBOZREVATEL, the first holiday of the season will no longer fall on December 19, as it was before. Starting from this year, St. Nicholas Day in Ukraine falls on December 6. And it is on this day that children in our country will find their gifts under their pillows.

History of the holiday

The holiday was established in honor of St. Nicholas of Myra, a bishop and miracle worker. He was born into a family of wealthy Christians and received his faith from his parents. Many miracles are attributed to him during his life and after his death, but the holiday is based on the story of St. Nicholas' rescue of three daughters of a poor Christian. The father could not provide the girls with a dowry, so, according to the laws of the time, they would have had to look for work and, if they failed, become prostitutes.

The priest heard about them and decided to spend part of his inheritance to save the girls from this fate. But he did not want people to know about his help. So he secretly made his way to the father and daughters' home for three nights and threw a piece of gold through the window into the girls' room. Each piece was to provide a dowry for one of the sisters.

But later the truth was revealed, and it formed the basis of the tradition of giving children gifts every year on the day of honoring the memory of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker - sweets, toys, new shoes, and other pleasant things. This is done secretly so that they do not hurry to part with their faith in miracles and God's kindness. 

Traditions of St. Nicholas Day

Not all children were given gifts on St. Nicholas Day. It was believed that only obedient children deserved such joy, and naughty children were given willow branches under their pillows.

To convince the good saint of their good behavior, children wrote letters to him on the eve of the holiday, telling him about their good deeds and ordering gifts. This tradition has survived to this day.

In the modern world, it is customary to give gifts on St. Nicholas Day not only to your own children. Numerous charity fundraisers are organized in Ukraine to congratulate orphans and children without parental care. Anyone can join such initiatives.

Some families set up and decorate a Christmas tree at home on St. Nicholas Day. 

Adults always try to pay off as many of their debts as possible before the holiday. There is even a saying: "If you don't pay it off by St. Nicholas, you will never pay it off.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you when the Intercession is celebrated in Ukraine according to the new church calendar. And which secular holiday was moved along with the religious one.

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