Poroshenko joins Christmas celebration according to Gregorian calendar
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has wished the Ukrainians a Merry Christmas, saying he is going to celebrate Christmas twice as in the Gregorian and Julian calendars, according to the presidential press service.
"Choosing a calendar is a personal right, but the state's task is to guarantee such a right and give an opportunity to choose. I have personally decided to celebrate it twice. Therefore, today I'm joining your celebration," the press service quoted Poroshenko's greetings addressed to those who celebrate Christmas on December 25.
Read alsoPoroshenko signs law declaring December 25 public holiday – mediaThe president has recalled that for the first time now Ukraine marks Christmas on December 25 as a national holiday according to the Gregorian calendar, having joined the majority of the Christian world, including Europe.
At the same time, he stressed, the good, long-standing tradition to celebrate Christmas on January 7 according to the Julian calendar is honored and respected.
"In two weeks, the Ukrainians will sing carols again and rejoice over the birth of Christ. As Paul the Apostle wrote, we, the Christians, are 'one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith and one baptism,'" the president added.
According to him, Ukraine is unique in its religious tolerance and respect for religions.
"We are Orthodox [Christians], Greek Catholics, Roman Catholics. We are a whole variety of Protestant churches. We are Muslims and Jews. We are all Ukrainians," Poroshenko stressed.