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How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Like a Ukrainian

27. December 2012 by Lorena 0 Comments

What will your sweetie be doing on New Year’s Eve? Chances are, she’ll observe at least some of the traditions below. Many Ukrainian traditions are holdovers from the Soviet era. If you’ll be there, or if you want to follow along at home for a distance date, add any of the following to your New Year’s Eve festivities:


  • Eat tangerines. In the Soviet Union, fresh fruit was often a luxury. Families stocked up on tangerines grown in southern areas of the Soviet Union for a sweet New Year’s treat.
  • Drink Sovetskoe champagne. While many Ukrainians can now afford more expensive bubbly, this brand has nostalgia appeal for many.
  • Celebrate three times. First, say goodbye to the old year with a toast at 11 pm Moscow time. Then, great the new year at midnight. You’ll celebrate the new year one more time on January 14th, which is New Year’s Eve on the Julian calendar.
  • Instead of a kiss at midnight, make a wish. The traditional way to do this is to write down a wish for the new year on a piece of paper, burn it, then drink the ashes in a glass of champagne.
  • Give someone a tiny gift that celebrates the new year’s totem animal from Chinese Astrology. Chinese Astrology is popular in Ukraine (this is why we provide Chinese Zodiac information on profiles.) 2013’s animal is the snake.
  • Make calls at midnight. Wish all of your loved ones health and prosperity in the new year.
  • Watch movies. The Irony of Fate is a popular pick.
  • Eat well. Lavish meals are a Ukrainian New Year’s Eve tradition.