The Belarusian Embassy in Seoul marked Orthodox Christmas Day on Friday, celebrating a unique tradition.
According to the embassy, Belarus observes both Christmas on Dec. 25 and Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7.
"Christmas is a holiday that makes the old feel like children again. Because from the very beginning, Christmas was full of joy and magic," said Belarusian Ambassador to Korea Andrew Chernetsky, delivering remarks at the embassy event.
Chernetsky recalled the enchantment of Christmas Eve, the brilliance of the Christmas Star, and the birth of Jesus Christ.
"Christmas, in my personal memory, is an untouchable part of my childhood," he said.
Evgeny Lazarev, consul general at the Belarusian Embassy, highlighted the special tradition of Christmastide, also known as "Kolyada," as a unique and ancient holiday accompanying Christmas celebrations in Belarus.
Kolyada, an ancient pagan winter ritual, predates the adoption of Christianity and has roots deeply embedded in Belarusian culture. The term is used in many modern Slavic languages, such as Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Czech and Serbian.
"Today, this holiday has become part of the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO," said Lazarev.
The embassy event was attended by the Belarusian community in Korea, nongovernmental organizations, Korean professors, students, embassy officials and the media.