Ukraine has a rich and diverse cultural background, the roots of which come from ancient times. Many Ukrainian holidays and traditions date back centuries but are not less prevalent in the modern age. Many Ukrainian traditions are rooted in the Christian religion or appeared as a result of historical events.
Ukrainians have a lot of celebrations that symbolize the joy of living, heartfulness, and beauty. Whatever the holiday is, Ukrainian women play a significant role in the celebration.
Ukrainian ladies cook traditional Ukrainian food, put on Ukrainian conventional clothing, sing, dance, and bring a joyful mood. There’s a lot to discover about Ukrainian holidays and Ukrainian culture. Let’s take a closer look at the traditions.
Ukrainian New Year
Like in the most significant part of countries worldwide, Ukrainians celebrate the New Year on January 1. This is one of the most important holidays for the whole country.
Many Ukrainians who work abroad come back home for the New Year celebration. Ukrainians spend the holiday with at home mostly, surrounded by their family and friends. The New Year’s celebration is closely connected with folk festivals.
Old New Year Celebration in Ukraine
Most post-soviet countries celebrate this holiday. The Old New Year takes place on January 14. It appeared as a result of the transition from one system of chronology to another.
Because of the 13-days difference between the calendars of old and new styles, Ukrainians decided to celebrate the New Year twice a year. It’s one of the most interesting Ukrainian traditions.
Ukrainians celebrate Christmas Holy Night on January 6. This is a family holiday that brings a lot of joy and fun to the country. Ukrainian women cook traditional Christmas food. The traditional Orthodox Christmas dish is “kutia”. It is served with 11 other dishes.
On Christmas Eve, you can hear people singing the traditional Christmas carol – Kolyadki. Both kids and adults use to sing carols in the yards of their neighbors’ houses, wishing prosperity and health to everyone. You may also feel the festive mood when Ukrainian ladies put on the traditional costumes, and kids wear masks of animals and bags for gifts.
The holiday of the Christianization of Kievan Rus is celebrated every year on January 19. This is a purely Christian holiday that came to Ukraine with Christianity.
It’s one of the most extreme Ukrainian traditions. This day, Ukrainians jump into an ice hole in the form of a cross and dive into the ice-cold water three times.
People believe that the water has unique healing properties on that day, all illnesses will be cured, and nobody will catch a cold after plunging into the icy water.
International Women’s Day
The beginning of spring is always associated with this holiday. On March 8, celebrated is the major day of the year when men congratulate their wives, moms, grannies, daughters, colleagues at work, etc. On March 8, Ukrainian women look especially charming. They dress up beautifully, put on a stunning make-up, and get ready for the celebration with their families and friends.
Easter is one of the most important spring holidays in Ukraine. Similar to other countries, Easter in Ukraine doesn’t have a certain day of celebration, but it always takes place on Sunday. The holiday is associated with many fascinating traditions. Ukrainian ladies cook traditional Ukrainian food.
Easter is a family holiday that gathers all family members together around the Easter table. On Easter, people go to church early in the morning. Those who are more religious can spend the whole night in church listening to the vesper’s service. The traditional Easter food includes unique bakery products called paski.
People also paint and beat eggs. This custom has been in the Ukrainian culture since ancient times. People decorate the shell of an egg into multiple colors, each of which signifies a different meaning. After the eggs are painted, they are considered to be sacred. There is a fun tradition to beat eggs on Easter. People knock each other’s bags. Whoever’s egg breaks is a loser.
Victory Day in Ukrainian Traditions
The holiday is celebrated on May 9. This is a big patriotic celebration when people commemorate the memory of heroes of World War II. Many people died defending the territory of Ukraine.
On that day, you may hear the patriotic songs playing all around. People also bring flowers to the vestal fire and participate in parades.
Holy Trinity Day
There is another name of the holiday – Green Sunday. By the time when the Holy Trinity Day is celebrated, everything is in blossom in Ukraine. The houses are decorated with flowers and fragrant herbs, which are considered to be the symbol of life.
Kupala Night in Ukraine
The holiday is celebrated on July 7. It’s associated with the period of the summer solstice. The roots of the celebrations come from ancient times. According to the legend, everyone who finds a blooming fern in the forest on Kupala Night will be happy and rich for the rest of their life.
There is an important tradition that takes place on Kupala Night. It’s jumping over a burning bonfire. Ukrainians believe that everyone who jumps over it will be cleansed from sins and cured of illnesses.
Ukrainian Independence Day
In Ukraine, the main patriotic holiday is celebrated on August 24. Ukraine is a young country that proclaimed its independence in 1991. Independence Day brings every citizen of the country the power to prove the power of their patriotism.
This is a national holiday and official day off in the country. On Independence Day, you can see a lot of festive events taking place all around the country.
People organize concerts, cook dishes from the national cuisine, host games, and other entertainments. People continue the celebration with beautiful fireworks.
Day of Knowledge
A new school year starts on September 1 in Ukraine. The Day of Knowledge is traditionally celebrated with lots of flowers and candies that kids bring to their school teachers. September 1 is an important day for millions of pupils and students who begin a new academic year in educational establishments.
Saint Nicholas Day
This is one of the most anticipated holidays of Ukrainian kids. It’s celebrated on December 19. Saint Nicholas is the patron of all children. He is considered to bring sweets, cookies, gingerbread, and gifts to those children who behaved well during the last year. Naughty kids should be ready to find a twig under the pillow.
Over the past years, Ukrainians have started to adopt many European and American holidays, including February 14, Halloween, and Catholic Christmas. The latter has even become a national holiday and an official day off during the last couple of years.
Ukrainians have a rich culture full of impressive traditions. Ukrainian women are raised to value their culture and translate their knowledge to kids.
Also, make sure to check an exciting article 10 features of typical Ukrainian girl.