History Corner - Ukrainian Christmas

Ukrainian Canadians have some special traditions, and for many, culture and religion go hand in hand. Since their earliest days on the Prairies, Ukrainians have built distinctive churches as centres of their communities. People especially enjoy two special celebrations: Christmas and Easter. In her book Canadian Ukrainian Centennial 1891-1991, Dr. Stephanie Potoski of Yorkton describes her family’s traditional Ukrainian Christmas beginning with Christmas Eve on January 6, a day of special celebration and feasting with the Holy Supper consisting  of twelve dishes symbolic of the twelve apostles. The round braided loaf of bread or “Kolach” featured here is a symbol of eternity. In her book, Doctor Stephane Potoski  explains: “Ukrainians regard bread as one of the holiest of all foods. The importance of salt is reflected in Christ’s words: You are the salt of the earth.” It is also a symbol of fasting and self-denial. The round loaf of bread or “Kolach” with salt is used as a humble but heartfelt greetings to visitors. “With this bread and salt we greet you.” Dr. Stephanie invites her readers of Ukrainian descent to preserve and pass on this tradition. There is singing of carols and then attendance at Midnight Mass, or at a Mass on Christmas Day.
Happy Ukrainian Christmas!  
 Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince,
Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3

article continues below
© Copyright Yorkton This Week


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Yorkton This Week welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus