Traditionally, Christmas in Ukraine has been celebrated according to the orthodox Julian calendar on Jan 7th. However, in 2023, after years of debates, the Ukrainian government and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine both set Dec 25th to be the official date to celebrate Christmas. The decision to reset the dates for Christmas was an additional way to assert Ukraine’s political and cultural independence from Russia. Consequently, no matter what the calendar says, many Ukrainian traditions will continue as best as possible amidst the fighting. Christmas brings hope and joy into a dark world and Ukrainians need that more than ever.
Swedish Christmas traditions embrace both the past and present. They combine old and new, reflecting a mix of history and innovation. It’s not just a celebration, but a blend of time-honored customs along with added contemporary elements. Each coastal community adds its unique flavor to the festive season.
Join us on a sleigh ride through the enchanting world of Sweden, where the traditions creating a holiday collage are both familiar and refreshingly distinct. Against the backdrop of the winter wonderland, the customs are a blend of traditional Scandinavian ones, foreign influences, local festivities, and the commercialized modern age.
I want to age like sea glass. Smoothed by tides, not broken. I want the currents of life to toss me around, shake me up and leave me feeling washed clean. I want my heard edges to soften as the years pass- made not weak, but supple. I want to ride the waves, go with the flow, feel the impact of the surging tides rolling in and out.
When I am thrown against the shore and caught between the rocks and a hard place, I want to rest there until I can find the strength to do what is next. Not stuck-just waiting, pondering, feeling what it feels like to pause. And when I am ready, I will catch a wave and let it carry me along to the next place that I am supposed to be.