Holidays in Ukraine

Popular Holidays in Ukraine

New_yearAfter a while staying in Ukraine you will see that Ukrainians like to celebrate and they do celebrate many holidays. Ukrainians celebrate the Independence Day (August 24), they celebrate New Year, Christmas (January 7), the Valentine Day, the 23rd of February, the 8th of March, Easter, The 1 of May and The Trinity and other holidays.

If you plan to celebrate a holiday in Ukraine you should know that the major celebrations comes on New Year, Christmas and Easter of which New Year is celebrated on the largest national scale. However, there was a significant shift in recent years to celebrate Christmas at the same level.

For those who profess Catholicism and travel to Ukraine will be useful to know that Catholic Christmas is not celebrated in Ukraine and it is not a holiday day in Ukraine.

A New Year and Christmasold_new_year_2

Instead, when it comes to New Year and Orthodox Christmas celebration, it is not uncommon that the whole 1 week (from the January 1 to the January 8th or 10th) is announced a holiday week. Many companies are closed for these holidays. And just in one week after the celebration of Christmas there comes an Old New Year holiday. This is quite difficult to comprehend to most visitors who come to Ukraine. An Old New Year is the traditional celebration of the New Year which came from the old calendar and has been largely popular in Ukraine. People often are reluctant to give up on celebration, they want a continuation of a holiday string to get together and the Old New Year is the excellent opportunity.

During New Year and Christmas holidays in Ukraine people visit relatives, go to restaurants, get together with family people they have not seen for a while and go on vacation to the Carpathians mountain resort. The visitors who came to Ukraine for the Christmas holidays or New Year might feel lonely unless they go travelling to different cities, find a recreation area or a resort to spend time in.

old_new_year  old_new_year_3

Old Holidays

If you go to Ukraine for a while you will notice that many holidays which are celebrated nowadays in Ukraine are nominal, in other words they do not bear the meaning that they had before and they are celebrated largely by tradition. This comes partially by the reason that when a Soviet Union collapsed the old holidays passed down to the independent Ukraine. People were used to celebrating some holidays from the Soviet Times, for example the holiday of the 1 day of May.

The Victory Day

(The Memorial Day of The Second World War)

The Second war memorial days and the Day of Victory (the 9th of May) are celebrated on a large scale and greatly honored in Ukraine because the losses in the Second World War were huge here (about 10 million Ukrainians were memorial_daykilled in the war).

Every family here has a member in the family, close or remote relatives who were either killed or injured in the war. And, therefore, the memory of the war and the holiday commemorating the end of the war are meaningful here.

However, there were lately speculations around celebration of this day in Ukraine. The speculations were triggered by Ukrainian pro-Russia authorities and Russia secret services. In this speculation one part of Ukraine (the western Ukraine) was blamed to discredit and smear the magnificence of the celebration. This was done to seed misunderstanding and estrange two traditionally polar sides of Ukraine West Ukraine and East Ukraine and has nothing to do with real people and real highly revered attitude to this day.

Celebration of the Day of Army (February 23) is a tradition which came from the Soviet times. Usually, girls in schools and female coworkers congratulate their classmates and men and this later echoes at the 8th of March which is the International Women’s day. This time boys in schools and male coworkers congratulate their female classmates and employees.

 The 1st of MayKiev_spring2

The 1st of May is the holiday from the Soviet Union yet celebrated largely in Ukraine. By meaning, it is the holiday of labour unions and all workers. By fact it is the second greatest holiday in the year after the New Year when people go on vacations, go on trips, visit relatives, go out of the city and generally celebrate spring and start new beginnings after a long winter. May holidays start from the 1st of May and usually is prolonged for two weeks until May of 10th of 12. Many people leave the city even for longer time, sometimes until the end of May.

It is the time when the first grass appears after the winter, it is the time when fruit trees start blooming and it is the time for the first barbecue in a year. However, it is also the time when many people go to the summer houses or dachas and make first preparations to plant vegetables for the new harvest.

In the Soviet Union traditionally there was a huge parade on the May 1st and then on the May 9th. Nowadays parade is less pompous if ever happens and people long for a change and tend to travel to other cities of Ukraine such as Lviv, Kamenets Podilsky and Odessa to get new experience.

meeting spring_fountains