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A diduch, or didukh (Ukrainian: дідух), is a Ukrainian Christmas decoration; made from a sheaf of wheat, it is a symbolic sacrifice taken from the best of the autumn harvest. "Didukh" literally means "the spirit of ancestors". Didukhy are traditionally made from the first or the last stalks of wheat reaped during the year. It symbolizes the household's wish for an abundance of nature and a bountiful harvest for the upcoming year. Before the holidays, wheat ears or stalks are gathered with colorful threads, then the bunches are tied with ribbons. A didukh is placed in most Ukrainian homes before Christmas, and kept until Maslenitsa (Carnival).


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Spiritual meaning

It is believed that the spirits of the household's ancestors reside in didukh during the holidays While it is at a place of honor inside the house, the souls of all ancestors will unite and bless the family. On Christmas, kolyvo is traditionally being prepared in front of the didukh. On Masnytsia, didukh is burnt symbolizing the end of the winter.

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