Ukrainian Christmas has an incredible charm! I even doubt, what I have to compare Ukrainian Christmas to. Well, it seems to me, if Christmas in many countries of the world mean a great kindness, big love, a lot of miracles and time when all the desires come true, during the Christmas in Ukraine, except all those feelings, you feel also a VERY BIG HOLIDAY. A Holiday of Holidays. HOLIDAY EVERYWHERE. Everybody calling you to be guest, everybody singing a Christmas Carols. And you can smell an aroma of needles from every Christmas tree! Of course, if it is live fur-tree, but not plastic :)
In Ukraine, like in all the world, a whole family getting together for the Christmas. Especially it is important to be home for the Christmas Eve (Saint Evening). Traditionally in the Saint Evening Ukrainians supposed to have 12 dishes. But! No meat for the Saint Supper! Just vegetables, fruits, fish and mushrooms. Of course, not every modern Ukrainian family cooking 12 traditional dishes for the Saint Evening. Just couple of main dishes. The main dish is kutya, a boiled wheat grains with honey and poppy seed. My family and friends in Ukraine also cooking borshch (beet soup), Ukrainian dumplings (proper name is varenyky, but in the Western Ukraine it calling pyrogies), mushrooms sauce, cabbage rolls (holubtsi) for the Christmas Ev. Also supposed to be herring or some dish from herring.
Usually Ukrainian women cooking and baking a lot for the Christmas, because it is three days of celebration! And a lot of guests in every family. In many villages people feeding a pig for having pork special for Christmas. The meat dishes Ukrainians eating during all three Christmas Days, but not meat only. Ukrainian women have a big cooking fantasy to create a lot of new dishes on basis of traditional. What kinds of salads I tried for Ukrainian Christmas! My favourite one with chicken, pine-apple, carrot, apple and mayonnaise. Our grandmothers and grand-grandmothers probably couldn’t to imagine this exotic fruit (pine-apple) on the Ukrainian Christmas Table, but times changing :)
But time didn’t change a great talent of Ukrainians to sing, especially Christmas Carols. Oh, Ukrainians have a lot of Christmas songs, known in whole world, like “Shchedryk”. Click on this YouTube video below and you will recognize this song, I am sure.
Without doubts, you had heard this Carol from radio and TV everywhere in USA, Canada and Western Europe. But probably you don’t know that this is UKRAINIAN carol, written by famous Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych.
Now click on this video below please.
This is Dudaryk choir from Lviv city (Western Ukraine). They are singing Ukrainian Christmas Carol “Slava vo Vyshnih Bogu” (“Glory to the God on Heavens”).
Ok, now, would you like to click on the next image? You can listen a very popular traditional Ukrainian Christmas Carol “Dobryj Vechir Tobi” (“Good evening to you”), singing by Ukrainian pop-stars.
And finally click please on image below. My husband love this song very much, he says, it his favourite Ukrainian Christmas Carol. The carol names “Pastyri” (“Shepherds”), it came from the West Ukraine.