Every New Year in Ukraine is observed with widespread parties and countdowns to midnight on New Year’s Eve, and a public holiday on 1 January.
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In Ukraine, Christmas is kept according to the older Julian Calendar, and yet, 1 January is now celebrated as New Year’s Day in accord with the Gregorian Calendar.
That’s why Father Frost, or “Ded Moroz”, makes an appearance on 1 January to give gifts to children instead of on 25 December. Ded Moroz is basically the Eastern European version of Old Saint Nick, and New Year’s Day is much akin to an extra Christmas Day.
On New Year’s Eve, the president of Ukraine will give a speech that is listened to all over the nation. And at the stroke of midnight, toasts are raised, everyone greets each other, and fireworks shoot up into the sky.