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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, December 19, 2002, 6:00 pm ET

    Ukrainian Saint Nicholas visits the United Nations

    New York, December 19 — A traditional "vertep" (Christmas play) was staged in the Dag Hammarsjold Library Theater at the United Nations today, the feast of Saint Nicholas as celebrated by Eastern Rite faithful. The performance featured children who spoke their lines in Ukrainian, traditional Ukrainian Christmas carols, and the star of the program, St. Nicholas. Adressing the international audience, St. Nicholas said he arrived from Ukraine ("the best country in the world").

    We are proud to present our Ukrainian Holiday play "Peace and Joy to Your Home..." which represents our Christmas Spirit, traditions, heritage as well as our history throughout thousands of years. The greatest gift given to us by God is His blessing through the Birth of the Christ Child. The Newborn King of Heaven brings us the joy of love, peace, health and prosperity. That is the beginning of the play, where everybody is singing, where everyone is happy. Whole World worships the Newborn Baby and rejoices. Then comes the Herod, the King of Judea, as the symbol of Evil spirit. With the Blessing of the St. Nicholas and his helpers, King Herod's plan doesn't succeed. And once again, the evil was defeated and thrown away from the scene by much greater force that comes from above in the form of the Christmas Star that symbolizes Ukrainian believe in God's spirit. During the play we can enjoy many Ukrainian traditional Christmas carols.

    The program was organized, written, directed designed and produced by Roman and Danyila Loun. Sponsors included Meest Media Corporation, Halyna and Oleksij Woskobijnyk, Ukrainian National FCU, New York Self Reliance(NY) FCU, New York Selfreliance Ukrainian-American FCU (Chicago). Patrons: Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations and Consulate General of Ukraine in New York.

    A Visit from St. Nicholas
    T'was the night before Christmas, 
    when all through the house 
    Not a creature was stirring, --not even a mouse; 
    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, 
    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
    The children were nestled all snug in their beds, 
    While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; 
    And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, 
    Had just settled down for a long winter's nap, 
    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, 
    I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. 
    Away to the window I flew like a flash, 
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 
    The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow 
    Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, 
    When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, 
    But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, 
    With a little old driver, so lively and quick, 
    I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. 
    More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, 
    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; 
    "Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN! 
    On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN! 
    To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! 
    Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" 
    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, 
    When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, 
    So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, 
    With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. 
    And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof 
    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 
    As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, 
    Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. 
    He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, 
    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; 
    A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, 
    And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. 
    His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! 
    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! 
    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, 
    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; 
    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, 
    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; 
    He had a broad face and a little round belly, 
    That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly. 
    He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, 
    And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; 
    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, 
    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; 
    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, 
    And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, 
    And laying his finger aside of his nose, 
    And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; 
    He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, 
    And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. 
    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, 
    Clement Clark Moore
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    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.

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