The communists, in their attempt to destroy culture, and specifically, Christianity, attempted to replace Christmas with New Years, and they shifted many of the traditions, like gift giving, family gathering, and the Christmas tree to New Years.
(This is much less palpable in Lviv and Western Ukraine where the people remain more religious and both pagan and Christian traditions are much more closely observed. That’s part of the reason my heart remains in Galicia, even though I live in the capital.)
Sadly, many Ukrainians aren’t even aware of why the celebrate New Years the way that they do. Ukrainian television seems perfectly content to cater to the godless Bolshevik New Years holiday.
I’m not against celebrating the New Year, but I want to see its status lowered to well below that of Christmas.