“Polonyna Summer 2009” Hutsul Festival In Ukrainian Carpathians

June 21, 2009 my family and I have attended the “Polonyna Summer 2009” hutsul festival in the town of Verkhniy Yaseniv. The town is located in Verkhovyna district of Ivano-Frankivsk region in Ukrainian Carpathians.
Wow! It was the Festival of Year for us, without any doubts! It was feast of hutsul music, food, embroidery and spirit of Carpathian Mountains. We also had a unique opportunity to see and hear a special guest of the festival: Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko!Well, I better start from the beginning and explain you, what all this festival (“Polonyna Summer 2009”) about. “Polonyna” in Ukrainian means sub-alpine mountains meadows. Together, “Polonyna Summer”, it means farewell festivity in honor of sheep herders, which are going up to the mountains (to the polonynas) for whole summer: to graze sheeps. The “Polonyna Summer” festival is annual.
Here are some pictures and videos we took at the festival. As I am a big fan of Ukrainian embroidery and traditional Ukrainian attire, I just counld’t resist to take pictures of these hutsul women in colorful embroidered shirts: Ukrainian Carpathians Hutsul Womenor traditional hutsul footwear
Traditional Womens Footwear Ukrainian CarpathiansSpeaking of my husband, he love good food, so I am not wondering that he took picture of this young shef making shish kebab
Ukrainian Barbeque Shish Kebab Hutsul Festival Carpathian Mountainsor people having outdoor reception.
Reception At Polonyna Summer 2009 Hutsul Festival Ukrainian CarpathiansWe personally had this shish kebab and I must to tell you guys: it was the best pork shish kebab we had that summer. The meat was soft and juiced, fresh and well-marinated before barbequing (as a woman and good cook myself, I could feel it).
So, reception was great, but most of our time we spent by this wooden stage Polonyna Summer 2009 Hutsul Festival In Ukraineenjoying all-day-long non-stop concert of the hutsul music. Concert opening was done by professionals: the “Hutsulia” singing and dancing ensemble from Ivano-Frankivsk. Here is video of their version of Kolomyyka (Kolomyyka is a traditional style of singing and dancing in Ukrainian Carpathians):

Some dances performed by the “Hutsulia” ensemble contained some fun tricks like this:

Except singing, dancing, having reception and shopping for local souvenirs, there were other kinds of entertainment, like training how to ride a horse. You can see my niece Natalya at this picture: girl is on the horse for the first time in her life :) !
Ukrainian Woman Rider Carpathian MountainsBut, as I told you already, the biggest surprise and the biggest excitement for us at this festival was to see a President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko!
When we came to the festival’s entrance we saw this young people in traditional hutsul costumes with korovays (decorated breads) and lots of media around,
Young Hutsuls Are Getting ready To Meet President Of Ukraineso we knew that they are getting ready to meet some big shot. I thought it will be somebody from local authority, for example, regional governor. But people talked to each other: “President is coming!”
Wow, what a pleasant surprise it was for us! Why surprise? Actually, I have read in media that President is invited to the festival, but I did not pay much attention to it, because, as I am originally from Western Ukraine, I knew that there is some “fashion” to invite a President to almost every festivity over there. Sure, the President is too busy to go to each festival, where he is invited, but looks like we were lucky to see Victor Yushchenko at “Polonyna Summer 2009”: he attended it!
After official part where President of Ukraine gave a greeting speech to the festival,
Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko Gives Speech At Polonyna Summer 2009 FestivalVictor Yushchenko had a good time at “Polonyna Summer 2009”. He enjoyed hutsul music at the festival and he also got some souvenirs for his family. He was taking pictures of young hutsul dancers
President Of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko Is Taking Picture At Hutsul Festival In Carpathiansand with young hutsul generation.
Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko At Polonyna Summer 2009 Festival Ivano FrankivskHe tried dishes of local cuisine and shared them with people.
President Of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko At Polonyna Summer 2009 Hutsul Festival In CarpathiansMy niece’s husband was very happy, because he happened to be among of those who shared this little reception with Ukrainian President :)

Read also:
Top 10 Reasons To Visit Ukrainian Carpathians