Christmas 2018-2019 Celebrations in Ukraine Guide

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Person holding a phone and taking a pic of a Christmas tree

Lucky Ukrainians celebrate Christmas twice a season: the country rejoices in the Roman Catholic Christmas on December 25 and Orthodox Christmas on January 7. The holidays give a chance to witness Ukrainian folk traditions firsthand in numerous Ukrainian cities.

Kyiv

Downtown Kyiv

Kyiv Christmas carolsAs usual, downtown Kyiv will become a massive Christmas celebration spot. The Christmas tree on Sofiiska Square will shine with lights on December 19. The Christmas market full of trinkets, toys and festive drinks will work here as well starting from December 15. Besides, markets on Mykhailivska Square and Volodymyrskyi passage will work as well until January 13, 2019. That's why Christmas mood won't leave the city center until mid-January.

According to the Kyiv City Administration, the great Christmas festivities - a concert, singing carols, enjoying traditional Ukrainian Christmas dish kutia and the March of Stars will take place on January 7.

The March of Stars is one of the brightest and memorable traditions of Ukrainian Christmas. People dressed in traditional garments carry colorful stars on sticks, symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem. The tradition is especially popular in western Ukraine and nowadays it's just as welcomed in Kyiv. The March of Stars will walk on Andriivskyi Descent and finish on Kontraktova Square, where people will sing carols near the Christmas tree.

Winter Kraina Mriy on the left bank of Kyiv

Winter Kraina Mriy The left bank of Kyiv will host the winter Kraina Mriy festival for the first time, supported by the Kyiv City Administration and Oleh Skrypka. The Christmas market will work daily from December 19 until January 7 (10 A.M. to 10 P.M.) on the yard near the International Exhibition Centre.

On December 19, Oleh Skrypka will personally light the Christmas tree at 8 P.M. The festive concert dedicated to Saint Nicholas Day will welcome numerous Ukrainian folk bands. On December 25, Winter Kraina Mriy will celebrate the Catholic Christmas.

As for the Orthodox Christmas, celebrations here will take place on January 7. Visitors are promised Christmas concert and Vertep - the Ukrainian Christmas puppet theater that stages short Biblical-themed scenes and sings carols.

Christmas Town on Malynska Street

Christmas Town on Malynska StreetOne more location with various free festivities is 16, Malynska Street located in a 15-minute walk from the Akademmistechko metro station. The Christmas Town festival will take place here for the second year in a row on January 4-6.

Visitors are promised various entertainment for kids and adults - a mini-zoo, quest room, laser show, various workshops and concerts. To give an idea, on January 4 (starting 3 P.M.) the visitors will have a chance to enjoy an indoors Christmas concert, free treats and a lottery with prizes.

Entertainment for kids aged 2-5 will include a merry-go-round, Christmas express, and numerous workshops with animators. As for the kids aged 5-12, they can have fun on trampolines, in the multimedia theatre, at workshops or during a round of board games. More information will be available at the official Facebook page of the festival.

Pyrohiv

Christmas in PyrohivThe Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine, also known as simply Pyrohiv, traditionally takes part in Christmas festivities. From December 15 to December 25, the museum welcomes kids on an ethnic excursion - Meeting with Saint Nicholas. The little guests will find out everything about Ukrainian Christmas from decor to traditions.

Afterwards, they will have a chance to meet Saint Nicholas himself and get sweet treats. You can find more about the program at the official Pyrohiv website.

Besides, Catholic Christmas will be celebrated in Pyrohiv on December 25 in the framework of "Winter in Ukrainian Skansen" festival. The Orthodox Christmas celebrations with traditional carols and Vertep will take place on January 7. The detailed program will be available on the Pyrohiv website.

Lviv

Downtown Lviv

Christmas in LvivLviv traditionally will start celebrating winter holidays at the beginning of December. The Christmas markets on Rynok Square and Svobody Avenue started working on December 7.

The markets will work every day from 11 A.M. to 10 P.M. on Mon-Fri and from 10 A.M. to 11 P.M. on weekends and holidays. Guests can enjoy mulled wine and strudel, stock on Christmas gifts and numerous handmade Ukrainian trinkets.

The celebration of the Catholic Christmas in Lviv will start on December 24 in numerous churches. For instance, Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church will host "Melodies of Christmas" concert. Christmas mass will traditionally welcome believers in St. George's Cathedral, Dominican Church and other Roman Catholic temples in Lviv. Finally, Lviv Opera House will host the LvivMozArt Christmas concert.

According to Tvoemisto.tv, on December 25, the whole downtown will be wrapped in Christmas festivities:

3 P.M. - 'Christmas Melodies' organ concert in Lviv House of Organ and Chamber Music
5 P.M. - "Light Christmas" concert by the Trio Kraina Khata in Lviv National Philharmonic
5 P.M., 7 P.M. - "Kurbasy. Christmas Edition" concert in Lviv Opera House
7 P.M. - the opening of Nativity scene on Rynok Square and singing carols
7 P.M. - Christmas concert by Nazar Savka and Rockoko band in Lviv Dovzhenko Centre
8 P.M. - Warm concert in the inner courtyard of the City Hall with the Lirvak band

Installing a didukh in LvivThe Orthodox Christmas will be celebrated in the center of Lviv as well. On January 6, dwellers and guests of the city will enjoy:

12 P.M. – installation of Didukh, the main Ukrainian symbol of Christmas, on Yavorsky Square.
5 P.M. – Christmas theatrical march that will start at Lviv Academic spiritual theater "Resurrection"
6 - 7.30 P.M. - Christmas Eve 'Lviv-style dinner' at Ratusha restaurant

On January 7, everyone is welcomed to celebrate Orthodox Christmas with Ruslana - the singer will give a concert at 7 P.M. in front of Lviv Opera House. Another concert,'Christmas Melodies on Organ', will take place in Lviv House of Organ and Chamber Music.Hoda Zvizdariv in LvivFinally, On January 8, the annual festival 'The flash of the Christmas star' will host the traditional March of Stars. Stars of every imaginable color are an important Christmas symbol in Western Ukraine. That's why people dressed in national garments march the city streets carrying colorful Stars of Bethlehem and sing carols.

Shevchenkivskyi Hai

Christmas in Shevchenkivky HaiShevchenkivky Hai is an open-air museum that displays different regional architectural styles of farmsteads, windmills, churches and schools. The museum is located on the east of Lviv and traditionally takes part in holiday celebrations.Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas will be celebrated here for these 3 days from January 7 to 9.

Visitors will have a chance to witness authentic Ukrainian Christmas traditions, listen to the oldest Christmas carols and taste traditional Christmas food and drinks. The detailed program will be available on lvivskansen.org.

Lviv Art Palace

Vertep at Lviv Palace of ArtThis holiday season, Lviv Art Palace will host a grand winter festival "Winter Festivities: From Roman to Ivan". The festival will work from December 1 until January 20 and will include traditional Ukrainian folk celebrations.

For instance, on January 8-9, visitors will have a chance to witness and take part in traditional Ukrainian caroling. The traditional Vertep, Ukrainian Christmas puppet theater that stages short Biblical-themed scenes and sings carols, will be available here as well.

The detailed program will be updated on the official Facebook event of the festival.

Odesa

Christmas Ball in Odesa Art Museum

Christmas Ball in Odesa Art MuseumAs Culturemeter reports, Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art will host a Christmas ball on December 23, at 2 P.M. Everyone who dreamt of dancing to classical music in a beautiful hall can now make their dream come true.

The program of the ball includes performances of young musicians, vocalists, and a performance of the 'Carpe Diem' dance group. The admission is UAH 40 for adults and UAH 25 for kids, students and pensioners. Besides, visitors have a chance to take a dance lesson with Carpe Diem group. The price for 3-4 dances is UAH 120. It's better to buy tickets in Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art beforehand.

Grand Christmas Concert in the Philharmonic

Orchestra playingOdesa Philharmonic House will host a grand concert of the best Christmas melodies from classics to contemporary. Hardy Symphonic Orchestra along with the renowned Odesa singers will light up the stage of the Philharmonic on December 25 at 7 P.M. The tickets are available on concert.ua and other sites with an English interface.

Harry Potter Musical in Odesa Opera House

Harry Potter scarfOn January 7, kids and adults are invited on the premiere of Harry Potter Musical that will take place in Odesa Opera House. The executives of the musical have a vast experience in staging performances: Daniil Danilyuk is the director of the “X-Factor” project and Yuri Moiseenko is the director of the DZIDZIO “The Birth of a Legend” mega-concert.

The cast of the musical is quite serious as well - actors were selected in three casting rounds. StarLight Scenery, the largest Ukrainian decoration and scenery company, will provide the necessary magic to transform Hogwarts in the Quidditch field in a matter of seconds.

The performance will take place at 4 P.M. and 7 P.M. The ticket price is UAH 410-1210 for the day show and UAH 210-1210 for the evening show. You can buy tickets at odessa.kontramarka.ua.

Photo sources: Володимир Герасимчук / vk.com, Evgeny Kraws / Facebook, Марченко Андрей / ru.wikipedia.org, Максим Торпан / kiev.informator.ua, moemisto.ua, photo-lviv.in.ua, Максим Войтенко / odessamedia.net, unsplash.com, pinterest.com, Facebook pages of events mentioned above. All images belong to their rightful authors.

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