Today is Christmas Eve for many people in the world – me included.
Every time I tell someone what the 6th of January is, they say, “Oh, so you’re Orthodox then”. (They say the same at Eastertime!). This is a geographical thing, not a religious thing. I’m not Orthodox; I’m Ukrainian Catholic. It’s just that some countries follow the Julian calendar, rather than the Gregorian calendar.
Growing up with two Christmases, as well as two Easters wasn’t bad! Two sets of presents and two sets of Easter eggs! We’ll still give gifts this evening, but not as many as we did in December.
Most of Australia, except for Sydney and its region, has suffered a massive heatwave this week. While others caught a break this weekend, Canberra didn’t; the temperatures are still hovering around 40°C (104 Fahrenheit). Spending the last two days cooking potatoes and kneading dough was kind of hot work.
All the cooking had to be done because it’s tradition to have twelve dishes for dinner on Christmas night. This includes one of Ukraine’s most famous inventions: borsch. This year we also have some Moët & Chandon to go with the food. Not exactly Ukrainian, but nobody is going to argue!
Ukrainian Christmas card by Jaroslav Adamovich. Lviv Ukraine.
Poor Tasmania really suffered badly from the heatwave this week. Bushfires tore through the region around the state capital, Hobart. Many homes, as well as schools and other public buildings have been destroyed. Because some people have been cut off, they have parked cars on beaches to try and save them, and then been evacuated by boat. It’s a terrible way to start the year.
This comes almost ten years to the day since the Canberra firestorm, which we were caught up in the middle of here. Bushfires are scary things.