Under communism religious holidays were not recognized and celebration of them was extremely limited. But Ukrainians LOVE holidays (during the spring months there's hardly a week without some "saint day" which prohibits some from working) and Ukrainians also know how to throw a good party. I don't know how it actually happened but New Years became the biggest holiday of the year. "Father Frost" (similar to our Santa Claus) comes with gifts and greetings. An evergreen tree is decorated with ornaments and lights. Fireworks and a huge feast typically with lots of alcohol usher in the new year.
|The "New Year's" card we sent to family and friends.|
Our church started a tradition already 5 or 6 years ago of hosting a New Year's Eve party. This year, as in past years, we started with a worship service followed by a potluck. Church members organized games and we had a great time of fellowship and laughter. Before midnight we all bundled up in warm clothes and headed to the center of town for fireworks. Everyone had a great time and it's wonderful to offer an alternative to the typical drunken festivities.
|Abigail in traditional Ukrainian dress|
|Matthew as a Star War's Storm Trooper|
|Elizabeth as Minnie Mouse|
|We had two "Father Frosts" at church with one reindeer!|
|The kids at church|
(P.S. If you're viewing this on Facebook and the pictures and captions are all messed up, you may want to go to the original blog to view. www.devuysts.blogspot.com)