Watch live: Kyiv Orthodox cathedral hosts Christmas Eve service in December for first time in over 100 years

By Isaac M December 25, 2023

An Orthodox cathedral in Kyiv is hosting its Christmas Eve service today (24 December), after a decree passed earlier this year meaning Ukraine no longer has to celebrate on the same day as the Russian church.

Orthodox Christmas is usually held on 7 January due to the calendar differences, with many of those celebrating the later date by fasting in the 40 days leading up to it.

Russia and Greece have some of the biggest populations of Orthodox Christians, with Ukraine choosing to distance itself from the Putin-aligned date.

It is the first time since 1917 that Ukraine will have its Christmas Day on 25 December.

“The relentless and successful struggle for their identity contributes to… the desire of every Ukrainian to live their own life with their own traditions and holidays,” Ukraine’s Parliament wrote on their website of the decision.

The country will observe a public holiday as a result.


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