Saskatchewan families who celebrate a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve will gather Wednesday night.
Ukrainian Christmas Eve is celebrated on Jan. 6 and carries a number of traditions which represent different aspects of the birth of Jesus.
Oksanna Zwarych is hosting her family in Regina for the meal, known as Sviaty Vechir.
On Wednesday morning, Zwarych explained to the CJME Morning Show that Sviaty Vechir includes 12 meatless dishes.
“Twelve is to honour the 12 apostles and meatless is to honour all the animals at baby Jesus’s birth.”
The meal begins when the first star appears in the sky. Zwarych says an extra plate is set at the table to honour family members who have passed on.
A traditional way to start the meal is for the head of the household to throw Kutya – a dish made of wheat and poppy seeds – at the ceiling.
“And if it sticks on the ceiling, it means you will have a good harvest. And if not, hopefully it will still be a healthy year, but maybe the harvest will not be as significant,” Zwarych explained.
The traditions Zwarych does were passed on to her from her father who was originally from the Ukraine. She has now passed the traditions on to her own daughter who hosted the meal for their family last year.