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Koliada or koleda is an ancient pre-Christian winter festival. It was later incorporated into Christmas. In modern Ukrainian, Russian, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Kashubian, Romanian and Polish, the meaning has shifted from Christmas itself to denoting the tradition of strolling, singing, and having fun on Christmas Eve. (source)

This source states “Kolyada” is the Russian Santa Claus. (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1936)


Lyrics

Kolyada, Kolyada
Walk about on Christmas Eve,
Kolyada, Kolyada
At our window cakes he’ll leave.

Kolyada, Kolyada
Come this holy night, we pray.
Kolyada, Kolyada
Come and bring us Christmas Day.


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