Traditional Folksy Christmas in Lviv!

  • Traditional Folksy Christmas in Lviv!
Issue 19, December 2009.

 Christmas and New Year festive season, events across town and throughout Lviv Oblast

As one of the great historic crossroads between the Orthodox and Catholic worlds, Lviv has always been a little corner of Europe where Christmas is celebrated with particular gusto and brotherly love. The adherence to two separate religious calendars which marks the city’s legendary inter-faith plurality means that Leopolitans get to celebrate Christmas from mid-December until well beyond the Julian calendar nostalgia of Old New Year on January 14, making it the longest holiday period in an annual Lviv calendar which is already generously attired with feast days and extended breaks.
Christmas in Lviv is a supremely laid-back season of festivity and cosy nights with friends and family. It is also a time when locals like to celebrate ancient Lviv region folk traditions with pageants and ghoulish gatherings that have more than a hint of the pagan past in their make-up. Highlights for this Christmas festive season will include a Christmas Fair on Rynok Square and close to Lviv Opera House and which is scheduled to run from December 10 until January 13, offering visitors a unique taste of ancient Lviv as it was during the great midwinter feasting season in centuries past. This Christmas Fair promises to be the ideal place to go gift-hunting and will also offer an ever-expanding array of Ukrainian and specifically Carpathian folk items, reflecting the growing demand for ethnic kitsch in increasingly nationally conscious modern Ukraine. For a real taste of an old-style Ukrainian Christmas visitors are also advised to head out of town to the many little resorts dotted about in the foothills of the Carpathians, where the welcome is always warm and the festive season remains an old school and often raucous celebration.