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    How Ukrainian Youths Celebrate the Day of Andrew

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    For many years December 13th has traditionally been celebrated as the Day of Andrew in Ukraine. It's a special holiday for unmarried youth. Our correspondents from Kiev report.

    Andrew's festivals are a favorite holiday for Ukrainian youth.

    The highlight of the celebration is the ritual of biting Kaleta, a round bread with a hole in the middle.

    The Kaletas serve as a test for young men to determine if they are ready to start a family.

    Young women bake the breads ahead of the holiday that falls on December 13th.

    [Nicolay Tkach, Ethnographer]:
    "Guys who during the celebration period prove that they have become mature, are allowed to get married."

    And how do they prove their maturity?

    They have to go through a series of questions, and answer them without laughing. If a young man smiles, he will be treated with soot.

    At the end of trials and test, young men have to bite the Kaleta bread without touching it with their hands.

    Obviously this young man, Roman, is ready for marriage.

    [Roman Swiderski, Festival Participant]:
    "The Kaleta was tasty. Tough, but tasty."

    The girls' job at the festival is to impress with their cooking skills.

    These dumplings, for example, are not only used to fill the stomach, but also for fortune telling.

    [Natalia Radchenko, Festival Curator]:
    "Anything you do during these holidays could tell your future. For example, when girls were making dumplings, they would put a coin, or a piece of pepper inside. If you get a dumpling with a coin, your future spouse will be rich, if you get the pepper one -- he will be like a pepper - with a difficult personality."

    As for the parents of young people -- well, they are not allowed to participate in the festival of Andrew.

    Should they try to prevent their daughters from going to the festival, the young men are allowed to break the fence or window and get the girl out of the house anyway.

    NTD News, Kiev, Ukraine.