Easter in Ukraine

Ukrainian Easter traditions(+ learn ukrainian words)

Tomorrow it’s Easter day in Ukraine and I want to share with you some interesting traditions, so you could find out more about Ukraine.

« Христос Воскрес ! » (Christ is risen). You can hear this phrase instead of usual greetings on Easter day. In response you will hear « Воістину Воскрес ! » (Indeed, he is risen).

A little bit of history

You might be curious why do we celebrate Easter (Великдень) today, but not a month earlier, for example. First of all, it’s because Christian church follows the Julian calendar and Catholic church follows Gregorian one. Easter comes the first Sunday (неділя) after the first spring full moon, that comes just after the spring equinox. However, the spring (весна), according to the Julian calendar, comes later in certain periods of time (about thirteen days later). That’s why sometimes Christian and Catholic people celebrate Easter together and sometimes not. If it happens that Jewish Easter is on the same date, so the Christian and the Catholic Easter is celebrated the following Sunday.

Ukrainian traditions (традиції) and rites (обряди).

It starts on Maundy Thursday (Чистий четвер). There is a belief that if you wake up before the sunrise and take the shower, all your sins will go away. But for me it’s too difficult to get up early, so I will live with my sins 🙂

On Saturday (субота) people usually bake the traditional cakes “Paska”. Oh, this is the most delicious part! Here on the photo you can see our homemade cakes:

Easter cake Paska

Also, we paint eggs in different colors. This is fun to do! There are two types: “Krashanka” it is an egg painted in one color and “Pysanka” it is an egg decorated with different symbols and colors.

VOL. 01

I can show you some photos of an exhibition (виставка) that takes place in Kiev at this moment. You can see a lot of “Pysanka”, some of them are modern ones:

DSC01113

DSC01109DSC01125DSC01143DSC01147DSC01118DSC01141

 

Let’s return to the Holy Sunday. Usually people take their baskets, put there traditional cakes, eggs, maybe some other food and go a church (церква) to sanctify the food for the breakfast. Some people go to a church the Saturday’s evening for the Holy Mass and spend there the whole night (ніч). After that, people come back home and have breakfast with family.

Here is another funny tradition that I enjoy! So you and someone else take “Krashanka” and beat them one of another. You can do it two times from the both sides. If your “Krashanka” doesn’t have any cracks, you win!

The second day of Easter is also great. It calls “Wet Monday” (Поливаний понеділок). This day boys can throw water over girls. Nowadays, this event (подія) takes place on the main squares, so no worries if you are a girl 🙂

Water (вода) is a symbol of purification.

Well, now you know a little bit about the Easter celebrations in Ukraine, I hope you like it. If you have some questions or you want to tell me about some Easter traditions of your country, leave your comment below, I will be very happy to read them!

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4 Comments

    1. Hello, thanks for your question. Well, it depends on what transport you choose and what destination. For example, if you travel by train from Kiev to western parts of Ukraine, it can be difficult to buy tickets because these destinations are quite popular. But if you travel by car, I think it’s easier.

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