My name is Mariia, I am working with marketing in minimalisma since May 2023, and I come from Kharkiv, Ukraine.
As the joyous holiday season approaches, my thoughts turn to the timeless Ukrainian Christmas tradition of Holy Supper, a celebration steeped in history and cherished by families across our land. Originating from Eastern Ukraine, I am thrilled to share this heartwarming, radiant celebration that has graced the festive season in my homeland for generations.
As the winter night approaches us in its quiet beauty, our anticipation rises with the appearance of the first star in the evening sky. At this magical moment, families across Ukraine come together around a beautifully arranged table to partake in the cherished custom of Holy Supper.
The first star marks the beginning of the Holy Supper, a feast where symbolism dances with flavors. Picture this scene: a table resplendent with a minimum of 12 dishes, chosen to represent the twelve apostles and symbolise unity among us. Each dish represents the artistry and richness of Ukrainian cooking, creating a blend of delicious flavours and textures.
Among these culinary treasures stands Kutia, a sweet grain pudding emblematic of familial bonds and unity, while the vibrant colours of borscht, a beetroot soup, signify hope for prosperity in the upcoming year. A selection of fish dishes represents abundance, and the meatless spread pays homage to the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition of fasting before the Christmas feast. In my family, we've cultivated a tradition of adding something new to our festive table every year. Whether it's a dish inspired by a different culture, a unique dessert recipe, or even a special decoration, this tradition adds an element of excitement and discovery to our Christmas celebrations. We see it as a way to embrace diversity and create new memories.
Before savoring this feast, a prayer is shared, and a candle is lit to honor the cherished memories of those who are no longer with us. The atmosphere is steeped in warmth, love, and profound gratitude for the blessings of the past year. As we gather around this symbolic table, we remind ourselves of the profound values of unity, love, and the joy that comes from sharing a meal with those we hold dear.
In the midst of the cherished traditions and festive joy, it's impossible to overlook the challenging reality that every Ukrainian is living in now. Yet, in the face of adversity, the spirit of unity and resilience among Ukrainians shines brighter than ever. The symbolism of our Christmas traditions takes on a deeper significance, reminding us of the importance of coming together, supporting one another, and finding peace in the bonds of family and community.
May your Christmas be filled with the radiant magic of the first star and the embrace of cherished family and friends!