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New Year’s Day and Christmas in Ukraine and Great Britain

Семенюк С. М., НВК «Школа-колегіум» ім. Т. Г. Шевченка, м. Сарни, Рівненська обл.

T. Dear Friends! You may agree with us that winter is a beautiful season, especially for our children. Why? Because in winter we have many holidays, for example New Year’s Day and Christmas. Today we are going to show you New Year and Christmas traditions in this country and Great Britain.


So, meet two delegations: the Ukrainian and English ones.
Ukrainian delegation. New Year’s Day is one of the most popular holiday in our country. It is a happy holiday. We like it very much. There is a lot of to snow on the ground, on the houses, on the trees.
We play snowballs and make snowmen. Children don’t go to school because they have winter holidays at that time. Mothers prepare good things for the New Year’s Party. Father brings home New Year’s tree and we put toys, small lights of all colours on it. Father Frost gives us presents and says “I wish you a Happy New Year”. On the first of January we take our presents under the New Year’s tree from Dad and Mum. For the New Year’s party the children prepare the songs, games, dances.
Children recite poems about winter holidays.
T. It was a real pleasure for us. I see, that you recite poems very well. But do you know any songs about New Year’s Day or winter?
Ps. Yes we do!
Song “The Yule Tree”.
English delegation. In England New Year is not as widely observed as Christmas. Some people ignore it. The most common type of celebration is a New Year Party. It begins in the evening and goes on until morning. There is a buffet supper of cold meat, pies, cakes and sandwiches. At midnight everyone can hear the chimes of Big Ben ant drink a toast to the New Year.
Another way of celebration is to go to the New Year’s dance. The Dance Hall is decorated, there are several bands playing merry music.
The most famous celebration is in London round the statue in Piccadilly Circus. In Trafalgar Square someone usually falls into the fountain. Some people watch other celebrations on television. Some people send New Year’s cards, give presents or make New Year’s Resolution.
In Scotland the old custom of First Footing is still observed. The first person to enter a house in New Year’s Day should be dark-haired (or fairhaired) man. He should bring a piece of coal, a fish, a piece of bread.
First Footer
Happy New Year!
Happiness for all I wish.
Let the joy be in every dwelling.
In all the towns and villagers
Many happy returns
I wish you tonight.
May for you and for us
Always be first class
May you and we
Happy will be!
Thank you so much. I know that the British like songs and games. Have you prepared anything for us?
  • Game “The Snowman”
T. Now we are going to speak about Christmas traditions. The Ukrainian friends you are the first.
Ukrainian delegation. “Sviata vecherya or holy supper” is the central tradition of the beautiful Christmas Eve celebrations in Ukraine. The dinner table sometimes has a few wisps of hay on the embroidered table cloth as a reminder of the manger in Bethlehem. When the children see the first star in the eastern evening sky, which symbolizes the trek of the three Wise Men, the Sviata Vechera may begin.
Father. Dear children, help your mother to lay the table. Today we have unusual supper. It’s named “Sviata Vecherya”. This is “snip” or “didukh”. It represents the spirits of our ancestors.
1st child. Father! Mother! I see the First Star! 
Mother. We can start our supper.
2nd child. Let me light the beeswax candle.
Father. Or, there are so many good things on the table.
Mother. Yes we have prepared 12 symbolic dishes. This is “kutia”. These are holubtsi, pyrogy, mushrooms, fish.
Father. “Khrystos rozgdayetsia!”
The family. “Slavimo Yogo!”
1st child. Carolers are at our door. Let’s ask them to sing!
Carolers. Christ is born!
The family. Praise to him!
Ukrainian carol
Good evening to you, our dear masters.
Be all gay our land.
New Year’s Day is born.
You lay all the table clothes.
Be all gay, be gay our land.
New Year’s Day is born.
Put the bread of spring corn
On the table clothes.
Be all gay, be gay our land
New Year’s Day is born.
T. Nice, isn’t it? Thank you, friends. When do you celebrate Christmas?
English delegation. Christmas Day is observed on December 25. In Britain this day was a festival long before the conversion to Christianity. One that day people began the year and it was called “modranecht” — mother’s night.
On Christmas Eve everything is rush. Offices close at one o’clock, but the shops stay open late. In the homes there is a great air of expectation. The children are decorating the Christmas tree with baubles and coloured lights. The house is decorated with holly and mistletoe under which the boys kiss girls.
The housewife is busy in the kitchen. The Christmas bird, usually a turkey, is being prepared. In villages carol-singers come and sing Christmas carols. They expect Christmas box for their musical efforts. The money collected is then donated to some Deserving cause.
Song “Jingle Bells”.
T. A pantomime is traditional English entertainment at Christmas. The heroes of it are the heroes of fairy-tales (for examples, the story of Cinderella”).
A scene from “Cinderella”.
T. Thanks a lot! Our best congratulations to all participators of today’s meeting. We are very glad to see you and the New Year wants to greet you.
New Year. I am New Year. I’ll soon come and my name will be 2015.
Song “Merry Christmas”.
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