Every year Lviv attracts thousands of visitors who are looking to experience the magical winter fairy tale in the heart of the medieval town filled with European Christmas atmosphere. Winter holidays in Lviv is a merry affair with a great selection of festive events to suit all interests and tastes.
To understand the ancient traditions of Ukrainian Christmas and how they have merged with pre-Christian rituals of local ethnic groups here in Western Ukraine, visit «Hutsul Christmas» exhibition at Lviv National Museum (20, Prospect Svobody avenue, Lviv). Hutsuls are an ethno-cultural group of Ukrainians, who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian Mountains. Their rich and unique culture has miraculously survived till our days. This exhibition reveals ancient Christmas traditions of Hutsuls and unique winter holidays rituals. The exhibition will be available to all visitors till January 29th, 2017.
For many people winter holiday season starts from the quest for interesting presents for family and beloved ones. Design Market One Day Shop (taking place on Dec 17th, 2016) is a fun winter festival in Lviv and perfect place to shop for all the holiday gifts you can possibly need. Here all visitors will have a chance to find authentic souvenirs, designer clothes, holiday gifts from young Ukrainian brands, spend some quality time with your friends and family listening to good music and enjoying delicious seasonal food and drinks at the food court. Check out all the details on these events on Facebook.
Another unique winter festival that will take place in Lviv on December 16th, 2016 is an International Gong Festival. This peculiar festival will last all night long starting from 10 PM on December 16th till early morning of December 17th. The festival will gather gong musicians from around the world and visitors will have a chance to listen to authentic Tibetan gongs and bells, classic European gong melodies and many other interesting live performances. International Gong Festival in Lviv will take place at Dnister Premier Hotel (6, Mateyka street, Lviv).
Winter holiday season in Lviv starts with St. Nicholas day, which marks the beginning of the magical Christmas time in the city. To set you in the right Christmasy mood visit one of the most anticipated concerts of the winter season, Sinatra White Christmas. The concert will take place at Lviv National Theater of Opera & Ballet (28, Svobody Avenue, Lviv) on December 19th and promises to deliver loads of Christmas spirit, romantic atmosphere and favorite holiday tunes.
New Year Party in the park is the New Year’s Eve fun family-friendly event offering lots of fun and entertainment for children, adults and even pets. This year LUXE FM, one of the most popular radio station in Lviv, organizes a real winter party with DJ sets, live bands’ gigs, snowboard and sledge rides and delicious food and hot drinks at the food court from the best street food vendors in the city. There will also be a special area for pets (dogs mainly) for those guests who would like to share this special time with their furry friends. In case you are a fan of ultimate outdoor winter fun, dress up in all your warmest clothes and head to the Park Kultury (Park of Culture) with your family friends and pets on December 31st. The party starts at dusk.
«When Angels descend on Earth» laser show became a traditional Christmas show in Lviv performed by local «Voskresinnya» Theater. This performance is one of the most popular winter events in Lviv. Actors create truly magical show that words cannot describe. It is a mystical and whimsical concoction of theater art, play of light on Ratusha walls, fire show and industrial alpinism. There will be several shows in December (December 30 and 31, 2016) and January (January 7, 8, 9 2017). The times of the shows still to be announced.
AnotherLand CARNAVAL is a major techno music festival that will take place on New Year’s night in newly opened and hippest night club of the city iFEST Republic (24, Staroznesenska street, Lviv). The organizers promise a spectacular show with impressive decorations, sound and video effects, popular international DJs, MCs and dancers. Make sure to book your table in advance.
To get a glimpse of unique cultural identity that miraculously survived on the outskirts of modern Europe go the Shevchenkivsky Gai on January 7th, 8th or 9th, 2017. «Ukrainian Chrismas in Shevchenkivsky Gai» folk festival will be happening for these 3 days over there, where you can discover authentic Ukrainian Christmas traditions, listen to the oldest Ukrainian Christmas carols and taste traditional Ukrainian Christmas food and drinks. Shevchenkivky Gai is an open-air museum that displays different regional styles of farmsteads, windmills, churches and schools; it is located in a huge park to the east of the city center. Everything is pretty spread out here and a visit involves a lot of footwork.
Read: New Year and Christmas Traditions in Ukraine
Ukrainian National Christmas Carol Festival will take place on Museum Square on January 7th, 2017. Ukrainian Christmas songs or carols have their origins in antiquity, as do many other traditions practiced at Christmas time. Koliadky and shchedrivky are the oldest groups of Ukrainian folk songs. They are sung by Ukrainians at Christmas time throughout the world. All the visitors of the Lviv Christmas Carol Festival will have a unique chance to discover the art of the traditional carol singing and listen to the oldest and most interesting carols from all over Ukraine.
Read: The Tradition of Singing Christmas Carols in Ukraine
New Year and especially Christmas are the most popular and the most beloved holidays in Lviv. Thousands of travelers come to Lviv every year to celebrate winter holidays with in authentic Ukrainian style. «Destinations» rounds up most interesting winter events in Lviv.