With the holiday season under way and Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, December is the perfect time to discover new places and enjoy every moment of holiday season.
Whether you’d like to be sipping mulled wine at Lviv’s iconic Christmas market on Rynok Square or go to the mountains for spectacular winter scenery and skiing, here are some ideas for where to go in December in Ukraine.
Read: December Events in Kyiv
Jazz Bez Festival in Lviv
Winter in Lviv starts with jazz. This good tradition was started by the oldest jazz festival in Lviv, Jazz Bez. Great live gigs, popular Lviv venues and late-night jam sessions, Jazz Bez festival got Lviv jazz fans covered in December.
The sixteenth Jazz Bez Festival will gather around jazz musicians from all over Ukraine as well as many international jazz players. The headliners of Jazz Bez 2016 are the powerful women jazz project Sisters in Jazz created by famous musicians from Japan, the USA, Italy, Germany and Poland, contemporary jazz band by Pol Belardi Quartet from Luxembourg and jazz musicians from Spain, Sweden and Poland gathered by Spanish drummer Carlos López in the band «Letters From København» project. One more anticipated guest of the festival is REDNAXELA — the international project of world famous musicians who create new wave jazz and live nowadays in the USA, Canada, Belgium and Germany.
With top-notch performances taking place every night from December 2nd to December 11th, 2016 and with a solid selection of live gigs offering not just sweet sounds but sweet atmosphere too, Lviv jazz scene in December has to offer many interesting events to satisfy all jazz genre fans.
St. Nicholas Parade in Uzhgorod
That fun and entertaining event in Uzhgorod became a good family tradition for locals as well as for numerous visitors of the city. On December 18th and 19th, 2016 dozens of people, young and old, will parade along city’s streets in St. Nicholas costumes, singing Christmas carols and giving sweets and cookies to all the children on the streets. There will be a festive concert after the parade in the city center.
Ukraine’s Main Christmas Tree Lighting in Kyiv
The main Christmas Tree of Ukraine, that will be located on Sofiyvska Square, will be traditionally lighted on St. Nicholas Day (December 19th, 2016). This square in the heart of Kyiv will be also the location of Christmas Market, where visitors can buy various presents, souvenirs, enjoy delicious street food and hot drinks. Visiting Sofiyvska Square on St. Nicholas Day with children is a good idea for joyful and interesting family weekend. Kids will love Christmas themed musical and fun games and quests.
«Shchedryk» (Carol of the Bells) Festival in Vinnytsya
The Ukrainian song "Shchedryk" became the basis for the world famous Christmas carol, "Carol of the Bells". “Carol of the Bells” is the iconic Christmas music that everyone knows. But not many know that it's a Ukrainian folk song. The world-known lyrics of “Carol of the Bells” speaks about the ringing of bells that call to throw cares away. The original lyrics based on the Ukrainian folk song “Schedryk” is much less known. Though it is based on the same melody of the famous Ukrainian musician Mykola Leontovych, the lyrics of the two songs has nothing in common. The original lyrics of Ukrainian version speaks about a swallow that flew into a master’s household and started twittering to him about the increase of his livestock.
This year Ukrainian «Shchedryk» celebrates 100 year anniversary. «Shchedryk» Festival in Vinnytsya invites visitors to explore over 100 variations of this Christmas carol as well as other authentic Ukrainian Christmas traditions and dishes.
The Festival will be taking place near famous Vinnytsya fountains on December 25th, 2016.
Night in Lviv Festival
Night tours became one more popular tourist attraction of Lviv. The cultural life of the city continues deep into the night. The "Night in Lviv” festival is held twice a year in summer and winter.
First «Night in Lviv» Festival was held as a promotional campaign in 2011. Since then it has developed into a full-fledged festival. This will be the 12th «Night in Lviv Festival» and it will bring interesting and rich program to all the visitors: jazz concerts, fire shows, mysterious city quests, themed excursions and walking tours. Please, visit official Facebook page of the «Night in Lviv» festival to check the full program and to book tickets for various events of the festival. The Festival events will take place in various locations around Lviv downtown from December 4th till December 6th, 2016.
Read: New Year Shows for Children in Kyiv
December might seem like a dark and chilly time in Ukraine, but it's by no means a dull month to travel. «Destinations» rounded up top interesting and exciting event happening in Ukrainian cities in December that would put all its visitors in festive Christmas mood.