Christmas in Lviv starts every year around the second week of December and goes on until the festival of Jordan (Epiphany) in the Orthodox calendar, which is celebrated on the 19th of January. Apart from the Christmas Market in Lviv, which actually is not even a Ukrainian tradition, there will be many things to see and hear:
- a large Didukh – something like a Ukrainian Christmas tree made of hay
- a vertep – a nativity seen in Ukrainian style
- Kolyadki – traditional Ukrainian Christmas songs
But Lviv isn’t just a Ukrainian city. It is also the center of the Armenian minority in Western Ukraine, which have their own Christmas traditions. And Lviv was for centuries inhabited by Polish people, of which there are still several thousand left in the city. Polish people also celebrate Christmas differently in Lviv. Our tour will therefore bring you to those places and will introduce you to these traditions.
And on top of that Lviv is also a center of various denominations – several Orthodox communities, Greek-Catholics which also have slightly varying religious traditions.
Our tour is the perfect opportunity to get an insight into all of these!
Try an original Lviv Ukrainian Christmas dinner
However, Christmas, not just in Ukraine, is also a fest of food. And that is why our tour simply would not be perfect without a Ukrainian Christmas dinner. Just like on our Lviv Ukrainian Food Tour, the Christmas Tour is a good possibility to introduce you to Ukrainian cooking! The traditional Christmas dinner on Sviaty Vechyr traditionally consists of 12 dishes, which all will be served to you during this dinner. Here are a few to name:
- Kutya – a mix of grain, walnuts
- Borsch – Ukrainian beetroot soup, usually with small dumplings (Vushka)
- Vareniki – Ukrainian dumplings on Christmas usually with cabbage
- Holubtsi – cabbage rolls
- Pampushki – bread rolls that are a typical for Christmas in Ukraine
- pickled fish – usually herring
- Usvar – a drink made from dried fruits and prunes
And the whole dinner has a set up, which reminds on the birth of Jesus Christ and mixes it with the old pagan traditions, where on Christmas Eve also dead relatives are being remembered. And with this you get many more stories from our guides personal experiences with Christmas and about their own family traditions. Because every family celebrates it slightly different.