Easter Traditions in Ukraine
Submitted by Editor on Mon, 11/28/2016 - 15:07
Easter is a big holiday over in Ukraine. Many families celebrate it all over the world and in Ukraine it is especially magical holiday. There are also many traditions which are widely followed in Ukraine by everyone through generations.People go around to their relatives and greet them with “Christ has risen” phrase and get the response of “Indeed he has risen”. The celebration takes over three days starting on Sunday and finishing on Tuesday. Usually only people in the villages celebrate on Tuesday while most of the people go back to work and carry on with their daily routines.
The most important part of Easter is the Easter cake or “Paska” in Ukrainian. The traditional one is baked at home few days in advance. It is a sweet piece of bread with raisins. Usually it is circular in shape with the cross done on the top. People also write the good phrases over it. This has been an old tradition which is carried over in generation and is still in use today. Now usually you can buy Easter cake in the shop instead of making them and most of the people do that. They come in make shapes and forms. They can be as big as a pan or as small as a cup. They all are a part of a bigger tradition.
Another common tradition is to paint Easter-eggs before the Easter. This tradition appeared many centuries ago and people used different ways of painting them. The original tradition was just coloring the eggs using either onions or beetroot. They would either end up dark brown or red color. With time this changed as people started to put patterns on the eggs. People used wax which was applied on the eggs to create patters, words and custom the eggs in the way they like. Usually every village or area had their own pattern which would be common to that place. It is like cross-stitching with respect to the pattern. The way people would apply wax is to heat up the piece of metal on the end of wooden stick and dip it into hot wax. After apply the pattern on the eggs and cool them in cold water. Usually eggs are boiled by this point. After the pattern is finished they would be dipped into the cold liquid which consisted of boiled onions or beetroot for up to twelve hours. This would apply the pattern on the eggs. After they are done, the eggs are wiped with hot cloth to remove the wax. With time this tradition has changed. Now you can buy premade plastic stickers which are put over the eggs and after the eggs are dropped into boiling water for few seconds so the plastic covers them.
Easter cake and Easter eggs are put in the basket usually with another types food which include butter and cottage cheese. As it is the first day after the lent people put the sausages and other meats. Those baskets are taken to the church where they meet other people and family members for the Easter procession. Even children get their small baskets they can carry around. After that one is finished people go back to their homes and enjoy the Easter cake and Easter egg as the main part of the food. In the old day’s people, would go to the church late at night on Saturday and stay there till Sunday morning. In modern day’s due to the number of people sometimes they go to the church on Saturday or Sunday usually at any time they have available but that is in the big cities. However, in villages people usually go to church on Sunday morning as early as five o’clock in the morning.
In addition, a common tradition which involves the Easter-eggs is the egg fights. Usually they are played before the eggs are eaten by kids. They would choose egg each and will try to break others opponent egg by hitting it with their own. Whoever egg breaks would lose the challenge. After the winner is found he goes to battle the next one until the strongest one is found. Sometimes this goes around until all the eggs are broken.
Last but not the least tradition is visiting the dead relatives on Tuesday. Usually on that day people go to grave yards where they spend some time with their passed away relatives. They try to visit all the graves of people related to their family as well as other close relatives or friends. They bring some Easter eggs with them and leave them on the grave. This is done to share the Easter spirit with them as it is believed that on that day they can see what happens in the world.
To sum up the Easter is a big celebration with traditions that go back generations. Some of them are old and forgotten while another’s are still followed. Some adapt to the modern life while another’s stay unchanged. The main aspect that this is a family holiday which is meant to be celebrated with the family and the people that they have close to them.
Created by Viktoria Hroshko