Ukrainians is nations with a lot of holidays. We are very easy-going nations and that's why we always celebrate something. Because of Soviet time a lot of tradition stopped, but now there is a rebirth because all of this situation which we had in Ukraine and life become more interesting.
I'll describe you traditional winter ukrainian holidays and underline traditional element. Because we are not isolated country, life become more and more international every year, so I just make an accent in traditional things.
There the most interesting part of holidays, because Ukraine was agricultural country and from spring to autumn people works with the ground, so all weddings, holidays they celebrate from September-October to March.
Ukraine is christian country and that's why we have a lot of christian holidays.
13 December. Saint Andrew's day
This days mostly celebrated by teenagers girls. Ukrainians believes that you can predict futures about boys in this night. So when I was at school, every day befor this holiday was crazy. All girls in our school found hundreds version of different ukrainians predictions. And you know? It was true!!!
3 years I recieved the same name of my future husband and in some years later I found him.
19 December. Saint Nicolas Day
Mostly celebrated by ukrainian children. There is a legend that Saint Nicolas look for you all the year and if you have good behavior and study well, you will recieved a presents under the pillow.
If you study bad, you will recieve nothing or little thin branches, so parents can punish you.
So all week before this holidays children become super quiet and do everything what their parents want)))
And of course they recieved a presents.
Traditionally I don't think that Ukrainians celebrate New Years, because we have Christmas 25 December. Than someones decided to move all life to 13 days, so now we have Christmas 7 January (orthodox). I don't understand why we need to move dates, not only days, but it happens and now we are like from other world.
So people became celebrate New Year in Soviet Union, because church and religion was forbidden. So now we still have great celebration, but no interesting tradition.
We have Did Moroz (Uncle Frost insread of Santa) who was made by Soviet Union.
Did Moroz don't have glasses and have long coat.
And also Did Moroz travelling with his granddaughter - Snigurochka. Not travelling - walking. Did Moroz don't have Rudolph with red nose.
Children recieved presents from Did Moroz. So Ukrainian children recieved presents twice.
7 January. Christmas
Celebration begins in evening 6 January. All family gather togather. We prepare 12 traditional Ukrainian food because there was 12 Apostols.
And when the first star appears on the sky, we sit to eat food and have fun.
7 Christmas is always day off. We just agan have time with our family.
We have special traditional food only for Christmas - кутя (kutya).
It's kind of cereal I guess. There is a lot of recipe, but you need a kind of weat seeds, poppies seeds, honey, nuts, apple and hot water. Something like that.
Children don't recieved presents in Christmas that's why everyones love New Year.
Since New Year, but especcially in Christmas young people gather togather, have special clothing and go to people, sing traditional Ukrainian Christmas song and ask money.
This songs is called "kolyadky" and people who do this activity - kolyadnyky.
They must have a star which is symbol of polar star and it's like light of their way.
It's kind of activity which is on Helloween in USA, when children ask candies of people, but we have this in winter. And to recieved candies you need to sing song.
I'll give you 100% that you know one of traditional ukrainiann Christmas song - Carol of the bells.
We have a lot of, but Ukrainian composer Leontovich include this one to his big concert, americans liked this and share it to all of the world. Thank you, Hollywood, that you share Ukrainian culture.
14 January. Old New Year
Huh, remember I tond you that we moved all dates in 13 days? That is. New year by old style. Why not? But also there is old slavic holiday - day of Saint Vasyl. So all Vasyl pay for this holidays :-))).
People eat a lot of awesome food and yound people still sing and earn money of this.
19 January. Vodokhreshcha
It's day when Jesus Christ was baptized in the water.
This day we have often have big frost, the river have ice. So there is a little hole in ice and people go to dive one time under water. There is a beliveness that this is very good for you body and you won't be ill this year.
Every year it become more popular again and a lot of people do this.
14 February. Valentines day.
It's not ukrainian but last 15-20 years it's celebrated in Ukraine. Of course there is the same tradition that in all of the world.
15 February. Strintennya
It's day when winter meet with spring. We have celebrations in our cities, and always we have competitions in snowing monuments. There is always some activities interesting for children.