Festivities Multiply since Ukrainian Independence: Part 3
This is the third and final article in our series of articles about Ukrainian Festivals. The focus of this feature article is the modern-day “Cultural Festivals of Ukraine”. Ukrainian cultural festivals abound and are often celebrated in conjunction with national holidays. Other festivals like the Hutsul Annual International Festival strike at the heart of Ukrainian culture and provide visitors with quite an education. Several thousand Ukrainians celebrate the culture of the Hutsul people living in the Carpathian region at this annual festival.
“This celebration of Hutsul culture originated in 1991 after Ukrainian independence beginning as a local event before soon becoming an international phenomenon. Dancers wear flower halos and perform barefoot to musicians playing wooden instruments. A festival fire torch is lit and escorted to the festival site with a group of Hutsuls on horseback. Artist booths dot the festival site displaying traditional handicrafts like carved chess boards, weaving, and ceramics.”
“The Ukrainian singer Ruslana, winner of the 2004 Eurovision contest, was inspired by Hutsul folklore and incorporated much of this tradition into her music. The festival, now in its twelfth year is a moving and inspiring event for visitors and Ukrainians alike.”
Two youth oriented festivals celebrate the sporting and musical talents of younger Ukrainians. The International Festival Tavria Games is a wealth of competition and amusement. Featuring the all-Ukrainian prize in music, the Beauty Queen of Ukraine contest, and the Golden Barrel beer test of endurance shares the stage with a children’s soccer tournament.
The Chervona Ruta Festival of Young Performers features individual performers, musicians and musical groups with a diverse mixture of playing styles and genres. Originating in the city of Chernivtsi in 1989, the biennial festival’s location changes each time but always climaxes with a concert of the festival’s winners.
If you are planning to travel to Ukraine, and are interested in local festivals, then be sure to set some of your vacation time to experiencing local culture and entertainment with a Ukrainian festival that interests you and your travel companions!