The Renaissance of Ukrainian Feast Traditions

The Renaissance of Ukrainian Feast Traditions

Talking about Ukrainians as a nation, we may say we are all hospitable people who are always ready to host and share our own traditions, customs and the way we live, as well as to borrow our guests’ customs. Pointless to say about St. Valentine’s Day, Halloween or even Chinese New Year!

The tendency of foreign holidays borrowing positively reflected not only on the society globalization processes but also on the Ukrainian citizens. It's slightly noticeable but is a fact that having been acquired foreign experience; we have started to rebirth our own.
As we approach the most magic and holly season of the year, let us open the curtain of the New Year's traditions scene. And we should start with St. Nicholas Day. Describing this holiday the interesting fact is that having been neglected for the decades, nowadays this holiday started its rebirthing era.
It is a well-known truth that this very day children are gifted by sweets and candies by Nicholas, but those who plunge deeper into the ancient traditions ought to remember the bigger range of customs about the day of celebrations by brewing the special beer sort; and it is not just a kind of a caprice, but an excellent motive while having a dinner to apologize each other and make peace with enemies. In ancient times it was the very same day of the year for dealing with all matters of argument. Ukrainian businessmen remember and always obey one more image of this holiday. The day of celebration they try to make all deals settled and get all big businesses finalized. And it's not just because of having a chance to enter the New Year with settled deals, but primarily because it promises a good fortune for both parties.
Now it's turn to talk about the most popularized and significant holiday for Ukrainians-New Year's celebration. Needless to comment the way we feast it in the 21st century, however the traditions we used to have and which are being currently rebirthed should be talked loud to help holding a holiday wisely as well as to make the right choice for presents. And here it's necessary to remember about "didukh" - that is a traditional alternative for the Christmas tree, or probably vice versa, the last one took a preliminary position of national "didukh"?
What is it? Ukrainian "didukh" is the last sheaf of gathered harvest decorated with paper garlands and fairy lights.
If you are a kind of nature preserving adherent, you can bravely interchange a Christmas tree for a sheaf bought at the nearest street market. Important is that it not only gets your house decorated but also attracts wealth and prosperity into your home.
Moreover you may consider "didukh" as a present that undoubtedly will make someone you love happy.
One more bonus is the creativity of gathered variations and decorated sheaves will certainly make the folks happy and suit any company party. HRs have to consider this idea as the innovative aiming to please everyone, even highly demanded tastes in the company, not to cut the trees off and stick to old Ukrainian traditions.
The holiday of Christmas may become the most important one while celebration the New Year's rival. There are traditional 12 dishes on the table with the main "kutia" and "uzvar", "kolyadky" (Yule-songs), "vertep" and the "star". Under Peter I reigning "vertep" was forbidden because it satirized politico-social situation of the Empire. And nowadays Ukrainians are reviving so close to our hearts traditions: a star and goings a carol-singing may be seen everywhere in Ukraine from the west and to the east. The "star" is crafted by children at schools and homes, "vertep" is supervised and people make performances for friends and neighbors; and for big events several drama shows are also presented in the way that everyone who desires could have a possibility to feast the show.
Being at home, if you have already installed "didukh" and brewed some beer, to follow all the traditions and customs it's important to put a hay on the floor and under the tablecloth that ought to remind You of cowshed and manger where the Jesus Christ was born.
Interestingly, it is not only about Ukrainians, but the same traditions are followed by polish nation. Alaska people can also boast with a tradition to visit each other homes holding the "star". Some Ukrainian customs such as visiting churches for Christmas are also crossing with many other nations like Hungarians, Germans, the French and many others.
Uniqueness of Ukrainians is boundless. Every day we are forwarding the direction of lost national color renaissance and in between we are always acquiring something new.
It will be right to put our trust in vastness and heartedness of our traditions not only for Ukrainians but also beyond our land.
Photo: (4), (1)

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