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You might have heard before that people in Ukraine and former Soviet Union celebrate New Year’s Eve twice: on December 31st and on January 13th. Of course it has a reasonable explanation. When in 1918 the young Soviet state switched to Gregorian calendar common in Europe and in North America, the Russian Orthodox church kept the tradition of Julian calendar and celebrated the New Year 13 days later. What makes this holiday special is a tradition of "kolyaduvannya" when children visit all the houses in the neighbourhood and sing "kolyadki" - short song wishing happiness, health and wealth to the house and the homeowners. Usually the grateful homeowners give chidlren candies, cookies and some money. This tradition is similar to Halloween, but without the scary costumes.

If people you care about the most are living miles away from you, you can still create a magical surprise for those you love. It could be a romantic gift set or perfumes for the woman of your heart, or lovely gorgeous fruit and gourmet baskets for your family, which no doubt misses you a lot on holidays. If your close person has a child in the family it would be a very thoughtful gesture to send a little thing for kid too. It can be a box of chocolates or a toy, which is a real holiday surprise for the little buddy!

Old New Year in Ukraine