Ukrainian Easter eggs are traditionally decorated using a certain technique. They are called Pysanky or in the singular Pysanka. Beeswax is used to draw the patterns on the eggs. A kind of fountain pen is used for this, which is dipped into the liquid wax. Then the eggs are colored over in different shades. Each region in Ukraine has its own pattern.
The Trysub is a symbol of Ukraine. You can find it in the coat of arms, but also on T-shirts, on coins or on buildings. A trident is shown. This was already to be found on coins of the Kievan Rus, then the Cossacks used it in the 17th century and finally it became the symbol of the first independent Ukraine in 1918. In the Soviet Union, however, the Trysub was banned. Traditionally, the Trysub is gold-colored on a blue background.
Shirts embroidered with traditional patterns are called Vysyvanka in Ukraine. Vyshyvanka Day is celebrated on the third Thursday in May. Many Ukrainians wear a Vysyvanka on this day to show their national identity. There are many different patterns.
The Rushnyk are also artistically embroidered. These are cloths or blankets. The color mainly used for the embroidery is red. Red stands for life and health. Traditionally, every baby is given a rushnyk. They are also used at weddings.
A well-known Ukrainian folk dance is the Hopak. It comes from the time of the Cossacks, they were horsemen in the steppe. The men turn very quickly and jump in the air during this dance. You also crouch during the dance. Women dance in sync with each other over and over again, which means they make the same movements at the same time.
Celebrate a whole week – that’s what Ukrainians do when it is Maslenitsa. The word means “butter week”, derived from the Russian or Ukrainian word for butter. The end of winter and the beginning of spring are celebrated. With the festivities, winter is driven away and spring is welcomed.
Maslenitsa is always celebrated in the week before the start of Orthodox Lent. Meat is no longer allowed to eat, but dairy products – and therefore butter – can. Butter then goes into the bliny, the little pancakes that are eaten in large quantities. It is also important to make a doll out of straw, the Maslenitsa doll, which is then ceremonially burned.
Living in Ukraine
Houses and apartments are as different in Ukraine as they are here. In the villages there are small and larger wooden houses, in the cities there are older houses, prefabricated buildings from the Soviet era and newer residential buildings. The supply of water, electricity and gas is often problematic. There are always bottlenecks here and then nothing flows through the lines…
Shopping in Ukraine
According to cheeroutdoor, Ukrainians like to go to the market for shopping. There you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. But there are also small and large shops and supermarkets where everything for daily needs is on offer. Street stalls have everything for sale.
Everyday life in eastern Ukraine
War is raging in eastern Ukraine. Part of the population is fighting to belong to Russia. The people who live in these areas are suffering from the fighting. Although a ceasefire has been decided several times, the fighting does not adhere to it. A normal everyday life is not possible. Countless houses have been destroyed and many people are fleeing the areas.
Eating in Ukraine
What do you eat in Ukraine?
Meat and potatoes, white cabbage, berries and mushrooms are among the ingredients that are commonly found in Ukrainian meals. People like to eat soups and salads, but also bread and pastries. These also include the filled dumplings, which are called vareniki here.
Wareniki can be filled in various ways, for example with potatoes, meat or sauerkraut. Then they are cooked in boiling water. At Wareniki, meat fillings consist of cooked meat, while pelmeni are prepared with raw minced meat. You can cook Wareniki with cherries – take a look at our tip ! At Christmas there is kutja, boiled wheat grains with raisins and nuts. We also have a recipe for you for Kutja.
Borscht and other soups
Soups are very popular, especially as a starter. This includes borscht, which is often viewed as a Russian dish, but whose origins are in Ukraine. Borscht is made with beetroot. Like many other soups, borscht has to cook for a long time, with little heat. Before serving, add a little sour cream to the soup, here it is called Smetana. Other popular soups are the cabbage soup Kapusniak and Rassolnik, a soup with meat cooked in pickle brine.
Kiev cutlet and other meat dishes
A meat dish well known in Germany is the Kiev cutlet. It is a breaded chicken breast fillet that is filled with herb butter and fried. Roasts, cabbage rolls and shashlik, i.e. meat that is prepared on a skewer, are also popular.
Salo, a pork bacon that consists only of the white fat, is often used. You cut it into thin slices and eat it with black bread. But it is also used in various warm dishes.