Ukrainians love their holidays and especially love to celebrate them. They celebrate a great number of holidays, namely Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, New Years and Ivana Kupala. They also hold a festival every autumn to celebrate the end of the harvest.
New Year’s Day is one the most favorite of all holidays in Ukraine. Children receive their presents under the New Year Tree on the 1st of January. At midnight the President gives a speech broadcast nationally. When the clock strikes midnight, people pop their champagne bottles and make a toast. They congratulate each other as the clock strikes 12 times and then shoot fireworks in the sky.
January 7th is an Orthodox Christmas. People go from one house to another, singing songs and wishing health and prosperity. All those wishes are usually said in rhymes and with the spreading of wheat or other seeds. A lot of people go to churches on this day to celebrate the birth of Christ. Then they come back home and have a meal of 12 dishes with their family.
International Women’s Day is considered the first spring holiday in Ukraine. In 1910 at the International Conference of Women Socialists, Clara Tsetkin proposed celebrating the International Women’s day on the 8th of March, which was an appeal to all women of the world to join in the struggle for equality.
In April or May Orthodox Easter is usually celebrated. It is the main Christian Orthodox holiday to honor the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The date of Easter is usually determined by the Church calendar. During Easter Ukrainians buy or bake Easter cakes and hand paint eggs. It is a very important holiday. On Easter people go to the churches, spending the entire night praying to God. Usually they take with them Easter cakes, painted eggs, and bottles of wine to have the priest bless them with holy water.
The 1st of May historically has been the traditional holiday of spring. In nineteenth century, it became an International Day of Solidarity for workers of all countries.
May 9th is a Victory Day, a great tribute to those who gave their lives during World War II resulting in today’s peace and happiness. Every city has a place called “The Eternal Fire” in which people gather and put flowers to remember those, who died fighting for peace.
June 28th is a Constitution Day. On this day in 1996 the Constitution of Independent Ukraine was adopted. Fireworks, various concerts and musical events are common throughout the country.
August 24th is an Independence Day. It is Ukraine’s largest state holiday. Many fireworks and concerts are taking place throughout the capital of Ukraine and the rest of the country.