Ukranian Petrykivka Ornaments : Holiday Gifts

A few years ago I made a memorable journey to Petrykivka in Ukraine. Located near the city of Dnipro in the eastern-central part of the country, the town is famous for its folk painting style, Petrykivsky painting or “petrykivka.” It depicts flowers, leaves, and birds in a variety of baroque forms. The colors are vivid, with red, blue, yellow, and green hues being most traditional. Everywhere I went in the town, I saw bright designs covering walls, fences and street signs, but petrykivka is also used for paintings and decorating everyday objects.

Petrykivka painting has been included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and many artists operate studios in town. Before the war their situation was already precarious, as it is for many artists, but these days it is even more so. Nevertheless, despite the electricity blackouts and other tragic realities of war, they continue to work and produce beautiful artworks.

I have been looking for a source of petrykivka ornaments for Christmas, and I was glad to find a Berlin-based family business that runs an online store called UkrGifts. They buy their artworks directly from the masters and ship them around the world. One of my favorites is a Christmas tree ball made out of wood and decorated in the classical petrykivka style. The ball is hollow inside and can be used to hide a small surprise gift. I like the ornament with blue flowers, such as the one I featured in this article, but the website offers many choices of patterns and colors.

If you live in Germany or Austria, you can also find petrykivka ornaments at the Christmas markets, and you can consult this schedule to find the stall near you.

Do you have any other recommendations for traditional ornaments? 

You can read more about Petrykivka in my article, Petrykivka : Ukraine’s Vibrant Treasure.

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29 Comments

  • Viktoria: I got a few ornaments yesterday at the Freyung Christmas market in Vienna. Every year I buy from their stall a different angel ornament for my mum, she loves them. The workmanship and the colours are incredible! December 19, 2022 at 9:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Vienna does have great Christmas markets, much larger than the ones here in Brussels. December 20, 2022 at 4:18am Reply

  • Aurora: How beautiful those ornaments are. I love the sort of hellebore flower in the second photo.

    A few years ago I bought Xmas ornaments from Penhaligon’s of all places, a mistletoe branch and a snowflake star, they still look stunning, they’re silver-plated and come with a pouch to protect the silver from tarnishing. December 19, 2022 at 12:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: How fun! I didn’t know that they made ornaments too. December 20, 2022 at 4:18am Reply

  • My1stGradeTeacher: Beautiful!! December 19, 2022 at 3:53pm Reply

  • Karen A: Just stunning! December 19, 2022 at 4:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: They have many lovely choices. December 20, 2022 at 4:19am Reply

  • Nancy Chan: I love the bold colours and the cheerful designs on these ornaments. December 19, 2022 at 4:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: Me too. In general, that’s the hallmark of petrykivka. December 20, 2022 at 4:19am Reply

      • Nancy Chan: There is an old fashion vibe (in a good way) to these ornaments, which I find particularly attractive.
        I find that anything that is still made by hand is interesting. I hope this art continues, and passed onto future generations. Truly beautiful! December 20, 2022 at 5:19am Reply

        • Victoria: I hope so too. And yes, I agree, the traditional look is so festive and inviting. December 20, 2022 at 5:52am Reply

  • Tara: So beautiful! I love all the Ukranian crafts and artwork you show us. December 19, 2022 at 9:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: So glad that you liked them. I also find them enchanting. December 20, 2022 at 4:22am Reply

  • Bastet: Thank you so much Victoria – I loved the ornaments and bought several of the various painted animals and birds. If they don’t arrive before Christmas this year, I can put them away and use them as gifts next Christmas. December 20, 2022 at 2:56pm Reply

    • Bastet: Free shipping to the US if you spend at least 75 euros! December 20, 2022 at 2:57pm Reply

      • Victoria: Oh, that’s pretty good! December 23, 2022 at 4:34am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so glad to hear that you liked them. The little horses are really sweet. December 23, 2022 at 4:34am Reply

  • OperaFan: Your tree ball is just beautiful! I’m always looking for old-world crafted tree ornaments. They are hard to find Stateside and very expensive. Thanks so much for this reference. I may not have them for my tree this year but I Will for next year!
    😊 December 21, 2022 at 9:12am Reply

    • Victoria: I like carved wooded toys. They are much more common here in Belgium than in the US, I find. December 23, 2022 at 4:35am Reply

      • OperaFan: Well, I’ve overloaded my cart, and now am agonizing over which ones to keep! December 23, 2022 at 12:40pm Reply

      • OperaFan: Victoria – I just wanted to follow up on this post. I finally did order 5 wooden balls and a bell. The package arrived today and they are even more beautiful than the photos shown on the website. I am looking forward to hanging them on my tree this coming Christmas!
        Thank you for the recommendation!
        ❤️ February 3, 2023 at 11:01pm Reply

  • WARA: We are THRILLED to have UKRAINI HERO here!!!! SLAVA UKRAINI 💙💛💙💛💙💛💙💛 December 21, 2022 at 7:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: 💙💛Heroiam slava! December 23, 2022 at 4:37am Reply

  • WARA: We are SO THRILLED to hear him addressing U.S. Congress right now in Washington D.C. December 21, 2022 at 7:59pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

    These ornaments are so pretty.

    Recently, I ordered a selection of the Andrea Garland lip balms that I read about in Bois de Jasmin a few years ago. They are to give relatives and friends for Christmas. There were so many pretty tins that it was hard to make choices.

    Also, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Flora Salvaggia, which was released in 2021. I confess that it was a blind buy; the violet, orange blossom, iris and white musk listed among the notes on Fragrantica called to me… I like it very much, and get a lilac scent from it, overall. I think that those who enjoy Après L’Ondée might like it.

    By the way, am I the only one who has developed a little crush on Volodymyr Zelensky? I suspect not!

    With kind regards,
    Tourmaline December 22, 2022 at 7:49am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Flora Salvaggia, but it sounds very interesting. I especially like the idea of lilac, iris and orange blossom together. December 23, 2022 at 4:38am Reply

    • OperaFan: Tourmaline – You are not alone in your sentiments. I am moved, both by his humility and determination to rally the free world to act and help Ukraine to defeat Russia’s aggression. December 23, 2022 at 12:44pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi OperaFan,

        My feelings exactly; you put it so well.

        Merry Christmas to you!

        With kind regards,
        Tourmaline December 23, 2022 at 9:07pm Reply

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