Koliada_0010 © 2015 Jacob Balzani Lööv. All rights reserved.


If one Christmas Day is not enough, just move to some Christian Orthodox countries to celebrate it twice. According to the older Julian Calendar (the one without leap day or 29th of February) used by the Orthodox Churches, Christmas Eve is on the 6th of January and Christmas is on the 7th.
I spent my second Christmas in Sumy, a city 300 km East of Kiev. Koliada is an ancient pagan winter ritual, later incorporated into Christmas and common in several Eastern European countries. According to the tradition, on Christmas eve, small groups stroll to different houses singing and having fun while receiving candy and small money in return.
Differently from other Christmas, this year in Sumy, one of the groups strolling through the buildings at -20°C, was collecting money to sustain the volunteers who are fighting in Eastern Ukraine. Dressed as Gipsies, Jews and Cossacks, they played a little theatre show, full of songs, in which a fainted goat was rescued by a doctor from Kiev. The man, after first trying without much success with a Ukrainian grivna banknote, he manages to bring the goat back to life by let her smelling an American dollar.

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