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Ukrainian community in Abu Dhabi prepares festive Rizdvo celebration

Rizdvo, Ukrainian Christmas, occurs in Umm Al Emarat Park and seeks to show the nation's prosperous heritage.

Rizdvo, Ukrainian Christmas, occurs in Umm Al Emarat Park and seeks to show the nation’s prosperous heritage.

Embracing Traditions

The Ukrainian community in Abu Dhabi is gearing up for a vibrant celebration of Rizdvo, or Christmas, at Umm Al Emarat Park this Saturday. 

The event, titled “Rizdvo – Authentic Christmas Day in the Park,” promises an array of cherished traditions, workshops, carols, and family-friendly activities.

Cultural Extravaganza

Scheduled from 4 pm to 8:30 pm, the event is poised to showcase Ukraine’s rich cultural tapestry. 

Rizdvo, synonymous with Christmas in Ukrainian, will offer a multifaceted experience, inviting children to meet Sviatyi Mykolai, the Ukrainian Santa, engage in festive treat decoration, revel in Ukrainian Christmas melodies, partake in craft workshops, and indulge in an array of festive delights.

Immersive Journey

Yevheniy Semenov, a Ukrainian resident and Vice President of the Ukrainian World Congress in Abu Dhabi, expressed the essence of Rizdvo: “It’s not merely a celebration; it’s a passage into the heart of Ukrainian traditions.” 

With an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Ukrainians residing in the UAE, the event aims to offer a magical experience while highlighting the beauty of Ukrainian customs, featuring activities like crafting traditional Christmas spiders and dolls, alongside the harmonious ‘koliada’ festive songs.

Marking Resilience Amid Conflict

This year’s celebration holds particular significance for Ukraine, marking its second wartime Christmas since Russia’s 2022 invasion. 

Notably, Ukraine has shifted its Christmas celebration from January 7 to December 25, aligning with the western Gregorian calendar. This transition from the Julian calendar, commonly used in Russia, stands as a symbolic stride amid ongoing conflict.

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