Trees on the northern slope of Mount Khomyak in the Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine
© panaramka/Getty Image
For Christmas Day, we’re enjoying the views on Mount Khomyak in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, where the bright green moss and the red of the fallen leaves pop against the snowy white. While much of the Christian world celebrates Christmas on 25 December, for those who follow Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions - including many Ukrainians - Christmas is still a couple of weeks away. Eastern Orthodox Christmas celebrations are tied to the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the more universal Gregorian calendar, so Christmas Day in Ukraine will be celebrated on 7 January.
In many Eastern European cultures, a traditional Christmas Eve dinner consists of 12 meat-free courses meant to symbolise the 12 disciples of Christ. For the Ukrainian feast, kutia, a sweet wheat grain pudding, is a star of the meal - other dishes may include braided bread, fish and soup. The meal begins when children spot the first star that appears in the night sky. Christmas Day is typically spent in church services and with family.
If you're celebrating Christmas - either today or in 13 days - we wish you a merry one.