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)


(Russian folk song)

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.

See also

  • Song with chords, Lesson ideas: Lyric options, Melody (so-mi | recorder / glock ostinato (notes E,G) (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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1 thought on “Kolyada”

  1. Saying this from Ukraine will be more correct. If you ask Russians what does it means…the have no clues. In Ukraine, people still celebrate it and it is a part of the Vertep parade. Thanks!

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