Christmas arrives with a warm overjacket on its shoulders. At night it brings warm light of the first evening star and in the morning it wakes you up with shine of white but warm sun. If my great-grandmonther’s grandmother had been asked about her Christmas feelings, I believe, her words would have been identical to mine. Because together with a bowl of kutia, generations of Ukrainians transfer their traditions from hand to hand.
Traditional Ukrainian Christmas wiped windows of calendars with its mittens to mark all 13 days of its stay - from Christmas Eve on January 6 to Theophany of Jesus Christ on the 19th.
Back in the days they used to prepare for holidays in advance. They cleaned houses and surrounding territories, and by whitening houses they gave their dwellings new clothing to fit show-white piles and welcomed holidays wearing new looks. They never forgot outfits for the family, too, stored up fabric in advance, embroidered ornamentation with cross stitches at taught kids and youngsters various kolyadkas and shchedrivkas in the meantime.
Christmas Eve that comes right before Christmas, on January 6, is a good time to have some culinary art practice because there should be as much as 12 dishes on the table, all Lenten only. The finest bowl this night is taken by kutia – mush made of cereal grain, it is it that the treat starts with. When somebody lightens first shimmering star with a Christmas match up there in the skies, only than it is allowed to have the first spoon of food in a day.
Together with the family that attempts to gather in full muster on this day of all others, spirit of forefathers, didukh*, joins festive dinner. It is brought into khata as the star begins to shine however it is assembled long before Christmas holidays from last harvest’s cereal ears. When adorning it for the dinner, they put bead strings made of guilder rose berries on it, tie a tie made of colorful ribbons or decorate it with dried flowers. Didukh takes the most dignified spot – by holy images. The way it looks is a statement of respect towards ancestors and representation of immortality of the family, welfare and rich harvests.
Christmas paints bright pictures: piles of white crunching snow, footpath winding among them from house to house, carved window shutters half-covered with white blanket after a snowstorm and bright spots of girls’ holiday kerchiefs in the endless sea of white: red as heat, green as grass, blue as cornflowers in the field. Chatter and clutter of girls catches up with deep voices of young men to join in Christmas kolyadkas and greetings for hosts. “We say good night to you, the master of the house…” (“Dobryy vechir tobi, pane hospodaryu..” in Ukrainian). Different regions of Ukraine had own days for caroling. Some expected guests after Christmas Eve, others on the very Christmas day and some – even after that. And each had own timing and direction: small children more often than not only visited neighbors to get sweets, nuts and other delights from hosts after singing. Adult boys and girls tried covering larger routes; they visited almost every khata in a village.
Bethlehem start was a must-have attribute for all carolers; it was usually made of stuff at hand: mainly paper of yellow, orange or golden color and decorated with spangles, ribbons and lanterns. Christmas image could be placed in its centre.
And sure enough there was no way a holiday could have gone without nativity scenes! Nowadays there is hardly a toy house that surprises. However back in the days people looked into small boxes that contained miniature decorations and characters that depicted Biblical story. Frequently those weren’t mere figures but a whole puppet theatre that developed into a live story thank to voices and skillful moves of actors. With time nativity scenes escaped small boxes so more and more often it can be seen with human-size characters.
Theophany of Jesus Christ doted all the i’s of Christams holidays. In its run-up Ukrainians celebrated Malanka holiday. On such days youngsters and teenagers hid behind masks to fall into personas of folk characters and animals for loud sounds of shchedrivkas to be heard in towns and villages till late at night.
There are so many things that Italy mixes in its cauldron: gondolas that travel along olive-green rivers, scorching sun that, like a juice, flows into the bottle of Pisa Tower, entwined spagetti of streets and crusts of squares covered in a mixture of Italian herbs and dialects. Also, it has ducks in its teasury. Oh yes, it is these creatures that allow you feel a flavor of genine national distinctive. And this ducktale is over thirty years old.
On Wednesday, April 9, 2019, on the initiative and organizational support of the SE "Directorate General for Rendering Services for Diplomatic Missions", the international women's club ASCK in the National Centre of Folk Culture "Museum of Ivan Gonchar" a lecture dedicated to the traditional Ukrainian women's dress was held.
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
Have you ever noticed how parks attrack us when it gets warmer outside? And what happens when you suddenly get there? Time stands still, something starts pulsating inside you, and your body seems to plant out fresh sprouts. OUTLOOK encourages you to visit the most beautiful arboreta of Ukraine, which you will exit feeling double alive.
“I’d like some headache elixir, mandrake root extract, heart pills and a bit of morphine, please…” – this is about how patients addressed pharmacists a couple hundred years ago. They, in turn, were preparing various magmas and mixtures in pharmacological laboratories situated as near as in the next room. Sure, nowadays technologies have significantly advanced, “remedy stores” fit in kiosks while drug-containing medicines cannot be bought without prescription…
With this feature on the main street of Dnipro, Dmytro Yavornytsky Avenue, we continue our rubric, dedicated to the history of differnt streets. Dmytro Yavornytsky Avenue is not just a central and most important street of Dnipro in every respect – it is also the picture of the many-centuries-long history of the city.
In the childhood a famous Frenchman from Ukraine was a blue-eyed dreamer. Once all his dreams came true. Whatever he wanted, everything was easy, as if luck was following him. HBe was singing in the choir, he made his best at artistic talent - and, finally, he succeeded in ballet.
Upon hearing word combination “Hindu woman” an image of a beautiful woman wearing sari and definitely with numerous adornments and pictures on her body emerges in our imagination. Where does passion for body decoration come from in national traditions of this people?
This Saturday, on February 23, 2019, Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of foreign states, representatives of diplomatic missions, international organizations, the State Affairs Department of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine visited the city of Ostroh, the centre of origin and development of Ukrainian Education, at organizational support and participation of the Directorate-General for Rendering Services to Diplomatic Missions together with the National University of Ostroh Academy.
On February 13, a solemn ceremony took place on the occasion of the main national holiday of Serbia - Statehood Day which marks the official level since 2001 and marks the Day of the beginning of the Serbian Revolution against the Ottoman occupation in 1804.
Do you happen to get hungry? That is great as we go on with our story about the most popular street food from around the world. It’s freshly cooked - fall to, you guys! Let's start with the South Asian countries, namely Singapore - seafood-rich in vitamins and minerals occupy a key place in the diet of residents ...
On February 12, an exhibition devoted to the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada was opened at the Ukrainian Diaspora Museum with the support of the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine. The purpose of the project is to show the life of Ukrainian Canadians, their tireless work in the new country and the efforts they make every day.
How much love weights and can its volume be measued? Does it have a garvity center and how it behaves in hours of ardent heat ot snow storms? Sure enough, love is an ethereal feeling that rather resembles crazy butterflies dancing in your stomach. However people, who have deep feelings, have learned to "create love" and convey its meaning in stone, wood or metal for others.
We continue publishing author’s column of Sabina Safarova on traditions of Azerbaijan.We have already learned about the matchmaking and the engagement, and now OUTLOOK proposes to plunge into the traditions of rituals and xinayaxdi – henna nights ceremonies which precedes the wedding itself.
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
Airports, railways and bus stations in Kyiv aren’t much different from similar objects in other big cities. But that’s just at first sight. If you have a slightly closer look at passengers, you can see that every third one carries a round white-and-green box. It is in it where the part of the majestic city, that can be legally carried away as a souvenir, is – we mean the famous Kyiv Cake.
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we'll tell you about art of golden-stitched embroidery that has long been considered the art of the nobility. We will tell you about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
Till the beginning of 2019 there is little time that’s why in case one hasn’t decided yet where and how to celebrate the most popular holiday on our planet, Outlook offers the list of the brightest cities for the celebration. There all the wishes and dreams will, definitely, come true!
All over the world, winter brings bright celebrations to people's homes, the traditions of how to celebrate them are born. The customs of one state differes from the other but people from different corners of the planet are equally waiting for miracles, pleasant surprises and a good fairy tale. On the eve of the New Year holidays, we decided to ask the diplomats about the peculiarities of New Year and Christmas celebrations in their countries.