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September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
22 December 2011
Erin Edwards

Bohdana Havryliuk, left, Marichka Semeniuk and Marichka Havryliuk carol near Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Kosmach, Ukraine. (photo: Petro Didula)

Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, today marks the winter solstice. It is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The image above, from the November 2004 issue of ONE, shows carolers in Ukraine in the snow. What better way to weclome winter!

As the article notes:

“They can carol for a whole day at one house, if the man of the house provides enough food and drink. In the 1980’s some carolers came to Kosmach from another village to make more money,” he remembers. “At first people didn’t know the difference, but now they don’t give outsiders anything.”

But outside ways are making an impact on the Hutsuls; a dearth of job opportunities threatens the Hutsuls and their traditions.

“There’s no work in the village,” says a native of Kosmach, Anna Havryliuk. “Young people leave the country looking for work in the Czech Republic, Portugal and Italy.”

Still, even as they venture out into the world, the Hutsuls hang on to their traditions. On Christmas visits, Mrs. Havryliuk’s three grandchildren never fail to return to carol.

For more from this story see, Faith and Tradition.

Tags: Ukraine Orthodox Church Carpatho-Rusyn