From Christmas, to New Years, to the Orthodox Christmas, to “Old” New Years, the Ukrainians in L’viv really know how to celebrate between December 24th and January 14th. You never know what businesses will be open, what streets might be closed, and what amazing, traditional performances will be showing out on the streets for free downtown.
With random manger scenes and stages set up with kids singing traditional Ukrainian carols, I never really knew what to expect while I was walking through downtown for the past few weeks. The streets are almost always packed with people talking, walking, and laughing. There’s even a few times I’ve seen people walking around in costumes for the Orthodox Christmas. I wish I had gotten a picture of that. Because I normally don’t like to look like a tourist, I don’t usually take pictures of everything around town, but during these past few weeks, I’ve felt free to, because there were so many people out doing the same thing.
The new years celebration with our church was a lot of fun, too. I had about 13 people over at my apartment. We did everything from Bible studies and worship, to a scavenger hunt, random party games that would take too long to explain, watched movies, and the boys brought over their X-Box and we played some video games. We also had home-made egg nog and s’mores! That was the first time any of them had either one of those. There were fireworks at 12:00am, and the activities stopped at about 4:00am, but there were already a few people asleep by then. All in all, it was a big success.