Nfld. & Labrador·First Listen

Christmas is just starting for N.L.'s favourite Ukrainian band, the Kubasonics

While the Christmas season is winding down for most people in Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s just getting started for the members of the Kubasonics.

Have a First Listen to Winter Carols by the Kubasonics

The Kubasonics' album of traditional Ukranian Christmas music is called Winter Carols. (Courtesy Chris LeDrew)

While the Christmas season is winding down for most people in Newfoundland and Labrador, it's just getting started for the members of the Kubasonics.

"For Ukrainians, Christmas Eve is the bigger celebration than Christmas Day," said Brian Cherwick, singer and multi-instrumentalist with the Kubasonics, whose members cheekily refer to themselves as Newfoundland and Labrador's favourite Ukrainian dance band.

Jan. 6 is the big day

For people of Ukrainian heritage, and others who follow the Julian calendar, Jan. 6 is Christmas Eve — a significant day. 

"Our Christmas Eve dinner has 12 different dishes, except they're all meatless," Cherwick continued.

"The dinner starts as soon as it gets dark in the evening, and it will last until almost midnight."

A lot of people can hear that it sound festive, even it's not holiday music that they're familiar with.- Maria Cherwick

"There's lot of carolling and drinking, and all the good things as well," added Maria Cherwick.

Those good things include traditions such as putting hay under the dinner table and hiding treats in it for children, and of course, music.

Ukrainian Christmas music 

The Kubasonics' latest album, Winter Carols, features traditional Ukrainian Christmas music and songs.  

"There's literally hundreds of these carols," said Cherwick.

"We used to go carolling on several blocks of the streets of Winnipeg, and every second house was Ukrainian, and I could knock on doors and sing a carol."

Maria Cherwick said that even though few people in Newfoundland and Labrador understand Ukrainian, they still enjoy the songs from Winter Carols.  

"A lot of people can hear that it sound festive, even it's not holiday music that they're familiar with."

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us at wam@cbc.ca and tell us about it.

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in most of Labrador) on CBC Radio One.  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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