|Kiev Travel Guide|
Holidays in Ukraine
Ukrainians have many traditions and holidays. The celebration of Easter and Christmas was ignored for many years, but has made resurgence in the post Soviet Period. Here is a list of some of the more popular Holidays in Ukraine:
January 1-2, New YearNew Year is the most favourite holiday in Ukraine. Traditionally this holiday is celebrated together with relatives and friends. People in Ukraine usually cook festive dinner, present gifts to each other, sing songs and dance. Children of all ages find it hard to fall asleep. They know that Father Frost ("Ded Moroz", closely related to Santa Claus) is on his way and that he's bringing gifts to put under the tree for everyone who hasn't been naughty. New Year in Ukraine is not only a time for gifts, but also a time for remembrance and hope for the future.
January 7, Orthodox ChristmasIn Ukraine, Christmas is a very important family holiday that is celebrated with ancient customs that are still observed to this day. Christmas is celebrated January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar as in most of other Orthodox Christian countries. On January 6th, the Ukrainian Christmas eve, families in Ukraine come together for a Holy Supper known as Sviata Vecheria.
Just like Christmas in many other countries, caroling adds a joyful and merry note to celebrating Christmas in Ukraine.
March 8, International Women's DayInternational Women's Day is one of Ukrainian's most important holidays. Just like in other countries of the former Soviet Union the holiday is extremely popular in Ukraine. Women in Ukraine receive flowers and chocolates from the men they know. Also men are also supposed to do all the housework.
NB All women receive flowers on this day. Forgetting to send a Ukrainian woman a card, or a gift on this day would be equal to forgetting her birthday.
March/April Orthodox Easter (Paskha)Orthodox Easter is usually about two weeks after Catholic Easter. On Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning people in Ukraine put an Easter cake, painted eggs, butter and cheese into a basket and go to church for the blessing of the food. "Pysanka" (a painted Easter egg) is one of the most interesting sorts of Ukrainian decorative art. "Pysanky" are typically made to be given to family members and respected outsiders. "Pysanka" is a real symbol of the holiday in the Ukraine.
May 1-2, International Labor DayThese primary Soviet holidays have lost their political meaning and are now traditional days off in Ukraine.
9 May, Victory DayHere is hardly a family in Ukraine which would not suffer from Nazis in the Great Patriotic war 1941-1945. There is always a military parade involving all the people who took part in World War II. The holiday is very important for every family in the Ukraine.
28 June, Constitution DayIn 1996 the national deputies in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada adopted the independent state's first Constitution. This holiday mega-show takes place in the capital of the Ukraine - Kiev. Many popular Ukrainian singers participate there. The show is finished with the hymn of Ukraine.
24 August, Ukrainian Independence DayIn 1991 independence was proclaimed and Ukraine became a Sovereign state. A very important holiday. The military parade takes place, in honor of an anniversary of the Independence of the Ukraine, with the performance of military orchestras.