New Year’s holidays are special celebrations when people want to get positive emotions and unforgettable experiences. Someone travels to Europe, while others prefer beach holidays. For sure, such journeys will be a trip of a lifetime, but there are many great opportunities to enjoy winter holidays in the native city.
During the last month of the year, Kharkiv was decorated with various New Year’s installations including luminous trees and deer.
On December 19, City Christmas Tree and holiday fair were opened on Maidan Svobody (Ukrainian: Freedom Square). For those who prefer active leisure, one can skate on the skating rink which is located in the middle of the square.
This year, Kharkiv has a towering Christmas Tree at over 40 meters in height. It is decorated with unusual garlands, which are programmed for animation depicting Father Frost, serpentine and other decorations.
Kharkivites have mixed feelings to the House of Father Frost that was installed on Maidan Svobody due to its overwhelming price amounted to 6.2 million UAH (about $260,000). Anyway, it’s very popular among young visitors and there are always long queues to get inside to meet Father Frost and give him a letter with a kid’s wish.
According to Kharkiv National Police, about 80,000 people took part in New Year’s celebrations on January 1. A holiday concert started at 11 p.m. in Maidan Svobody on December 31. Famous Ukrainian singers, as well as Kharkiv musical groups, entertained all comers until 3 a.m.
Ukrainian patriots were invited to “All for the Victory” volunteers’ tent to celebrate the holiday next to their own tiny Christmas tree. Everyone enjoyed the celebration surrounded by like-minded people.
Gorky Park welcomed Kharkiv residents since midday on December 31. Festive activities started with an entertainment program for kids followed by funfair and a contest. Firework displays mesmerized people of all ages.
Special activities were prepared for kids at the park’s entertainment center. Young visitors could write a letter to Father Frost, watch exciting “Once Upon a Time in the Fairy-Tale” entertainment program, take part in a handcraft workshop, and in the evening they enjoyed a show performed by PinGwin creative studio which was called “Surprise for the Snowman,” a disco with elves and “Mission to Save the Holiday” puppet show.
Orthodox Kharkiv residences anticipate Christmas which is celebrated on January 7. Before this holy day, “From Christmas to Christmas” fair was traditionally opened near the Svyato-Pokrovskiy Monastery, next to Istorychniy Muzei metro station, on January 2.
According to the Ukrainian Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the fair presents a large variety of Orthodox printed matter, icons, incense, jewelry, ceramics and much more.
The holiday season in Ukraine will last until Epiphany, which is celebrated 12 days after Christmas on January 19.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: mykharkov, Vgorode, Borys Redin, Oleksandra Kharchenko, Natalia Ivanova