Today is Christmas day all over again! The Ukrainian Christmas celebration began last night at the sighting of the first star in the evening sky. This represents the trek of the Wisemen. I think that in itself is such a wonderful tradition.
The Christmas feast then begins with 12 meatless dishes that represent the 12 disciples. The first dish is Kutia (Kutya), a sweet pudding made with boiled wheat berries, honey and poppy seeds. We sell quite a bit of wheat prior to the holiday season for this purpose. It is very tasty, but as with most dishes, there is good Kutia and there is bad Kutia. Here's a good article on the dish There are myriad variations for preparing Kutia so I think it is one of those dishes that falls under the category of "add whatever you like" similar to the old English puddings.
I guess its worth mentioning that this Christmas date is not limited to Ukrainian culture, but anyone who traditionally follows the old Julian Calendar. Greece was the last country to adopt the modern Gregorian Calendar in 1924. The Julian calendar continues to fall behind the Gregorian by a full day approximately every 100 years. on Monday, March 15, 2100 the Julian calendar will be exactly 2 weeks behind at March 1.