Ukrainian parliament makes December 25 a national holiday

Kiev, November 16, 2017

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The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada decided today to officially make December 25 an All-Ukrainian non-working holiday, reports Interfax-Religion. The Orthodox date of January 7 has long been an observed holiday in the nation.

The vote officially introduces the December 25 holiday into article 73 of the Ukrainian Code of Labor Laws. Of the 331 deputies who were present for the vote, 238 voted in favor of establishing the new official holiday.

The Rada had considered the same draft law last year as well.

“With the passage of this bill, Christmas will be celebrated twice in Ukraine—on December 25 according to the Gregorian calendar, and on January 7 according to the Julian calendar,” said head of the Committee on Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova during consideration of the bill.

There are about 800,000 Roman Catholics in Ukraine who celebrate Christmas on December 25, in addition to the various Protestant groups in the country, according to the Union of Orthodox Journalists. According to statistics from the Ministry of Culture, there are, in all, about 11,000 communities, making up 30% of all religious organizations in Ukraine, that celebrate according to the Western date.

The law shall enter into force on the day following its publication.


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