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The Christmas tree in Kyiv was lit in accordance with the New Calendar.

The Christmas tree in Kyiv was lit in accordance with the New Calendar.

On Wednesday, a large number of people gathered at one of Kyiv’s cherished squares to witness the lighting of the city’s central Christmas tree in honor of Saint Nicholas Day. This change follows a new calendar that now recognizes December 25 as the date for celebrating Christmas.

After engaging in a 21-month conflict with Russia, the Ukrainian military observed the holiday using the new calendar adopted by the country’s primary Orthodox church, in order to separate itself from Russian customs.

“Despite the current challenges, we still have the chance to visit and admire the Christmas tree in the heart of our capital,” stated Olesia Polyarosh, age 29.

She expressed that instead of celebrating, we can still embrace the Christmas spirit in our country.

The square outside St. Sophia Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century, erupted in cheers as the lights on the tree were turned on. Nearby kiosks offered families the chance to try pancakes and mulled wine.

The majority of Ukrainians practice Orthodox Christianity and the primary church of the country recently decided to switch from the Julian calendar, which observes Christmas on January 7.

The majority of Orthodox countries observe Christmas on December 25, but Russia and Serbia are exceptions and celebrate on a later date.

Numerous individuals in the plaza expressed their support for the altered date.

Polyarosh stated that we should have no connection to that nation. He also mentioned that Nicholas and the service members are currently maintaining the stability of the country. The tree is radiating with light and is just the right size for our current situation.

Kateryna Didyk, an engineer aged 32, expressed that it may be a bit premature to begin celebrating Christmas. However, she did mention purchasing a tree on Tuesday and has already begun decorating it.

The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, ceremoniously illuminated the tree. He mentioned that private donations had covered the cost, allowing government funds to be allocated for the military.