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Orthodox Christmas: Statement from Premier Notley

Premier Notley issued the following statement expressing greetings on Orthodox Christmas: 

“I want to wish Orthodox Christians across Alberta a day filled with the most treasured gifts: family, friends, faith and traditions.

“Across Alberta and in several countries, such as Ukraine and Russia, Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas today, following the Julian calendar. Our province boasts a strong Ukrainian population— almost 10 per cent of Albertans—and many are celebrating with rich traditions today.

“Many of these traditions, like joining family and friends for a Christmas feast and attending church, are similar to those of the West. Others are unique to each country, including donning masks and singing Christmas carols in exchange for sweets, carnivals and folk plays, and sporting tournaments. 

“The holidays are a chance to embrace these time-honoured customs, enjoy time together and reflect on our blessings. They also remind us how fortunate we are to live in a province where all traditions and faiths can coexist peacefully.

“From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. May your loved ones enjoy good health, happiness and prosperity in 2018.” 

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