ukrainian christmas: 2 posts

An Evening of Bounty

If you’ve ever sung or listened to “Carol of the Bells”, you’ve indirectly partaken in one of the oldest Ukrainian traditions of shchedrivky. The old style New Year’s Eve on January 13th is called Shchedriy Vechir, which means Bountiful or Generous Evening, and part of the celebration includes young women and men visiting their neighbors and singing shchedrivky, couplets wishing good fortune, health and much of bounty in the new year. The most famous song associated with Shchedriy Vechir is “Schedryk” (Щедрик), which was arranged by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1916 and later adapted by Peter Wilhousky as an English Christmas carol, “Carol of the Bells”.

ukrainian christmas

Old traditions are closely intertwined with the customs. Shchedriy Vechir also has the alternative name of Malanka in honor of Saint Melania the Younger whose feast is celebrated on the same day. But the old, pre-Christian customs color the festivities.

Different from carols, which are performed starting on Christmas Eve on January 6th and until the Epiphany on January 19th (the Ukrainian Orthodox calendar still follows the one established by Julius Cesar), shchedrivky focuses on the bounty of nature. The original Ukrainian lyrics for “Carol of the Bells,” for instance, tell the story of a swallow visiting a household and describing all of the rich gifts the family is to see in the spring.

Continue reading →

Uzvar : Ukrainian Spiced Fruit Compote

On January 6th my house smells like dried apricots and honey. It’s the Orthodox Christmas Eve, which in Ukrainian is called Svyata Vecherya, the Holy Supper, and two dishes central to it are kutya and uzvar. I have written about kutya already, but uzvar deserves special mention, because this spiced fruit compote is not only delicious, it has a heady perfume.

uzvar1

Uzvar is not only paired with kutya for the Ukrainian Christmas and Easter, it’s a favorite winter dessert in my family. It’s simple, healthy and can be varied based on what’s available in the cupboard. I can still picture my great-grandfather, Sergiy, laying out sliced apricots to dry on the roof of the garden shed and smoking plums over cherry wood. “For uzvar in the winter,” he would say, while turning the dark, jammy fruit.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Tourmaline in 10 Favorite Modern Patchouli Fragrances: Hi Frances, What a wonderful word to describe strong fragrances – “bombastic”! I wear my bombastic perfumes in cold weather. With kind regards, Tourmaline October 21, 2021 at 6:35am

  • Tourmaline in 10 Favorite Modern Patchouli Fragrances: Hi Jeanne, Well that’s interesting… I didn’t know that Les Néréides created perfume. I only knew the brand for the pretty jewellery that I’ve bought from a TV shopping network… October 21, 2021 at 6:29am

  • Monika in 10 Favorite Modern Patchouli Fragrances: Paestum Rose is extraordinary — to quote Chandler Burr — it “unfolds with a scented crepuscular darkness, a twilight that is an exact balance of disappearing sunlight and incipient evening.… October 20, 2021 at 7:27pm

  • Michele in Top Classical Patchouli Perfumes : Part 1 Patchouli: Michele: Victoria, could you review Mandy Aftel’s Bergamoss Solid. It’s a Chypres and she said she created it to be like ones first created. I’d really like to know. Thank… October 20, 2021 at 5:42pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2021 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy