Traditions and beliefs

in Ukraine

The ones who decide to go to Ukraine might be asking themselves “Who are those people, those Ukrainians that live over there?”, “How do they look?”, “What do they eat?”, “What do they wear?”, “What movies do they watch?”, “What music do they listen to?” and most of all “What do they believe in?”.



Everyone who comes to Ukraine admits after a short while that Ukrainians are extremely superstitious nation. Both women and men but women in particular.

a_catA black cat

When you spend some time in Ukraine you will notice how a Ukrainian woman turns off the road is she sees a black cat crossed the road just before her. The fear of the black cat is quite common among all Ukrainians regardless of their age or gender.

In fact any cat that crossed the road is commonly believed to be a bad luck. Ukrainian women also believe that it might be a back luck to return to the place which they had just left if they forgot something. In order to mitigate the risks Ukrainian women look in the mirror if they return to fetch the thing which they have forgotten.


Who pays in a restaurant

Women of Ukraine also believe that a man should pay in a restaurant and generally Ukrainian women do not accept the feminism idea.

A draught

Most visitors to Ukraine are taken by surprise about the fact that sitting on a draught is believed by Ukrainians to lead to the cold or illness.

spit_overshoulderSpit over your shoulder

If you come to Ukraine and say something which you crave to happen but which has not happened yet you must nock on it three times on a wood surface and spit three times over your left shoulder.

Woman with an empty bucket

It is a back luck if the first person who you see when you come out of your home is a woman carrying an empty bucket. Remarkably, seeing a man with empty bucket is not considered to be a bad luck.

There is an antidote, however, to this precarious situation. You can wait patiently until you meet somebody with a full bucket. On the contrary, meeting a man with a full bucket means a lot of luck!

head_bumpingIf you

bumped with

somebody’s head

You should bump heads with that person again or you will quarrel with that person.

For a good luck

After a while staying in Ukraine you will understand that Ukrainians are most of all fearful of black cats and a draught. On the contrary, if you come as a guest to some Ukrainian family and drop a plate or a glass and it breaks the host will most likely tell you that “it is for a good luck”.

I am not sure, however, whether this explanation will work wonders on waiters in Ukrainian restaurants. But you may try. Tell me about it afterwards.

The-Corner-Of-The-Table-1904Sitting at

a corner of

a table

This is a bad luck for unmarried girls only. Girls in Ukraine should avoid and should not be made sitting at the corner of the table if they want to marry soon. It is also highly inadvisable and should be avoided at all costs sweeping around an unmarried woman. This also puts her at high risk of not getting married.  

If somebody stepped on your foot

If somebody stepped on your foot you are supposed to step back at their foot. This is largely practiced among children to avoid holding grudges against friends and playmates. And also, of course, in Kiev metro.

FootLong finger

If a woman has second finger on her foot longer than a big one this means a woman will be dominating in a marriage. Therefore, before marrying a Ukrainian woman you should measure her second and a big finger on her foot.

On the other hand it is believed that at wedding ceremony either the bride or the groom steps first on the carpet before the alter the one will be dominating in their family.    

Soup and borscht

Ukrainians believe that it is good for your health to eat at least one hot liquid meal a day and in Ukraine it is usually borscht or soup.

Confessions, congregations, churches and spiritual beliefs

In terms of confessions and spiritual beliefs, Ukraine, though it has its own very rich and old history, modern Ukraine has come from the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union under the terror of communism the Church was forbidden. However, in late years and particularly after the collapse of Soviet Empire the church reinvigorated and new time has brought many confessions to life.

There are two main churches nowadays in Ukraine, both Christian, one subordinated to Moscow Orthodox Patriarchate and another is Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Orthodox Church. There has been quite tense confrontation between the two of them. The Moscow church uses the opulent financing from Russia and political dominance to lobby its interests in Ukraine. By using some political connections Moscow church takes over the main spiritual objects and constantly tries to extends its influence and establish its own parishes on the new strategic objects and territories of Ukraine.

However, Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Orthodox Church has proved itself as more people-oriented and more friendly to its congregation.

If you go to the West of Ukraine, however, you will notice a strong presence of Catholic Orthodox Church which is attributes to the strong influence of Poland which was dominating on the West Lands of Ukraine in the past centuries.

There is a large Jewish community in Ukraine.

There is a Tatars community in the peninsular Crimea and many other communities of different nationalities in Ukraine.


According to the data from the last collection of records about the population of Ukraine, the majority of Ukrainian population consists of Ukrainians (77%) of the overall population of Ukraine. Next go Russians who contribute to 17% of the population. After that go Byelorussians, Moldovans, Polish people, Bulgarians, Jewish, Hungarians, Rumanians, Greek, Tatars, Armenians, Gipsy and other. On the whole, there are over 100 nationalities living on the territory of Ukraine.