Ebenezer Scrooge dreamed of Christmas. The Grinch stole Christmas. What did President Volodymyr Zelenskyy do? He decided Christmas would happen on a different day.
Mr. Zelenskyy is the president of Ukraine. When he signs his name on a law, a lot can happen. He can even change Christmas. But why would he want to?
In Ukraine, the old date for Christmas was January 7. That’s when the Russian Orthodox Church observes the holiday. But Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Soon after, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church separated from the Russian Orthodox Church. Now Ukrainians will celebrate on December 25. Is that when you celebrate?
Many Ukrainians want to live independently from Russia. The Christmas law has a note attached. It says all Ukrainians want “to live their lives with their own traditions, holidays.”
Ukrainians make more changes too. They remove monuments to Russian people. They rename streets. New names honor artists, poets, and soldiers. But not Russian ones. Ukrainians.
A towering statue of a woman stands on a riverbank in Kyiv, Ukraine. It faces east toward Russia. Originally, the statue held a shield with a hammer and sickle on it. (These symbols represent the Soviet Union. Years ago, the Soviet Union included 15 countries. Ukraine was one, and so was Russia. The Soviet Union squashed people’s individual freedoms.) People once called the 200-foot statue the “Motherland Monument.”
But many Ukrainians don’t think of Russia as their “Motherland.” In August, officials replaced the statue’s hammer-and-sickle mark. Instead, they put Ukraine’s trident (a three-pronged spear) onto Mother Ukraine’s shield.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.” — Genesis 1:14
Why? Holidays are a big part of a person’s culture. What and when you celebrate says a lot about what you value.