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Lychakivsky Cemetery: A History Book of Stone

In death, Ukrainian ancestors are believed to reside in the fields, orchards, forests, and the skies of their homeland. The spirits assure a good harvest. As a gesture of thanks and to bring good fortune in the coming year, families gather grain from the fields to reside in a corner of the house during the Christmas Eve meal. For Ukrainians death is not simply a cold and lonely end to life. The dead are merely departed. No where is this sentiment more accurately displayed than in Lviv's Lychakivsky Cemetery.

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Features

Festivities Multiply since Ukrainian Independence: Part 2

This is the second article of a three-part series about various Ukraine festivals since the country's independence in 1991. Ukraine.com is proud to present the following article on Film Festivals in Ukraine.

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Features

Festivities Multiply since Ukrainian Independence: Part 1

Ukrainians have a history of celebration but with the advent of the country's independence in 1991, festivals of all kinds have exploded on the cultural scene. Layered with culture, customs, music, and art these festivals offer visitors a healthy taste of the country's passionate approach to life. A small sampling of Ukrainian festivals held throughout the year is profiled on this website.

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Features

Ukrainian Babushkas - A Source of Wisdom and Sunflower Seeds

"If Palace Walls Could Talk" - One old woman sweeps the Kiev streets. Another marches off to a construction site, pick axe and shovel in hand. On the corner, a third woman wrapped in a scarf sells sunflower seeds and flowers. Almost universal in their role in the family, Ukrainian grandmothers, known affectionately as babushkas are the sisters, widows, and mothers of over 20 million male soldiers who lost their lives during the Second World War and must work in the twilight of their lives.

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Features

Odessa's catacombs: An Ancient Metro - Ukraine

Every corner of Ukraine's streets carries a history lesson telling stories of resistance and abdication. Sometimes these stories are not only told by walking in the open air but unfold underground. Beneath the sandstone from which Odessa was built, the city's labyrinth of underground tunnels and caves wind across nearly 580 miles of the city and the surrounding Ukrainian countryside.

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Features

Sounds, Sights, and Folklore of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine

"My House is on the Maidan" - A Ukrainian's house may have once been at the edge of the village, an expression suggesting one's reluctance to voice political views, but during the heady days of the Orange Revolution, the house moved. Written and painted on banners and chanted by millions in a sea of orange, "my house is on the Maidan [Kyiv's Square of Independence]", this traditional idiom's revision is one example of the influence Ukraine's recent political revolution has had on the country's folklore.

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Features

The History of Ukraine's National Anthem

"Ukraine is not yet dead", the first line of a patriotic poem written by Pavlo Chubynsky in 1862, the prose, later to accompany a musical score written a year later by Mykhailo Verbytsky, a Ukrainian composer and Catholic priest, denotes the cultural mix of hope and desperation felt by Ukrainians through the centuries to rule their own land. Widely sung as a hymn originally, both the melody and lyrics share similarities with Polish, Serbian, and Israeli anthems. Formally adopted as the national anthem of the briefly independent Ukrainian National Republic after Russia's Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Ukraine's national anthem became a source of controversy in 1991 when the country's second, but permanent, independence declaration was secured.

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Features

Ukrainian Wedding Rituals Bind Centuries Together

Once upon a time, a woman rejected a suitor's marriage proposal by returning the gift of bread he brought with him or by presenting the marriage seeker with a pumpkin. While rejections may have changed over the centuries, many Ukrainian wedding customs are still preserved today. Embroidering the rich origins of Eastern Rite Christianity with ancient pagan rites, the Ukrainian rite of marriage is steeped in mystery.

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