Easter in Ukraine

This 1887 painting of Ukrainian Easter is by Mykola Pymonenko.

Easter in Ukraine is a very significant holiday, with celebrations stretching long before and after the traditional Easter weekend. Ukrainians take baskets to church to be blessed, loaded with traditional foods and decorated with embroidery, candles, and the world-famous pysanky, the hand-painted eggs.

ПимоненкоСтрастныйчетвергUkrainian Easter by Mykola Pymonenko 1887

Wartime Ukrainian Easter

Before, during, and after the Second World War, Ukrainians resisted (often in underground organisations), occupation by both Russia and Germany, as well as military aggression from others including Hungary and Romania. Additionally, the west of Ukraine was under Polish rule before the Soviets invaded. The region suffered heavily during Operation Barbarossa.

These vintage Ukrainian Easter cards are from that turbulent time – note the rifle carried by the man on the horse.

The writing is the typical Easter message for Ukraine, and translates to ‘Christ is Risen’.

American professor Timothy Snyder is a good place to start for information on the most overlooked aspect of the war, particularly his book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.

Easter_card_Ukr_Legion These Easter cards are Ukrainian, and represent the era and the underground forces fighting more than one invader at the same time

Easter_card_ukr_leg These Easter cards are Ukrainian, and represent the era and the underground forces fighting more than one invader at the same time

Ukrainian Christmas

The Adoration of the Shepherds, (Поклоніння пастухів). A Ukrainian religious painting taken from an iconostasis, and dated between 1650 and 1700.

The 6th of January is Christmas Eve for Ukrainians of all Christian denominations.

The main Christmas celebrations take place at this time.

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