5 Reasons to visit Ukraine in winter It is not a secret that Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe which is located in the very East of the continent. Most of the people think that the climate of Ukraine is freezing especially in winter and they are afraid of visiting this beautiful country at that time of the year. But let me prove you that you’re missing out a lot.1. Believe it or not but the climate is changing all around the world and Ukraine is not an exception. Most of the scientists claim that global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.
Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves. The global climate change also has impacted Ukraine There is no escaping the fact that winters in Ukraine are not as cold as they used to be many years ago but they are still snowy and breath-taking! What is more, Ukrainian ski resorts are the best and the most convenient places to learn how to ski or snowboard. All of them are locate in the Carpathian Mountains, therefore you can enjoy that impressive view while mastering your skills or dominating those slopes! Bukovel Ski Resort is one of the most famous in Europe. It has high standards of service and accommodation also as ski slopes are equipped with everything you may need for the best skiing. There are more than 60 slopes, 16 lifts, luxury hotels, entertainment centers and restaurants. There is Radisson Blue, Bukovel 5-star Resort and Spa Hotel, for those who appreciate hi-end rest and winter holidays over there.
2. Ukraine is a huge country with wide rivers, huge mountain ranges, modern cities, green valleys, warm Black Sea and diverse nature. If you’re not a fan of skiing or snowboarding, you can definitely find so many others things to do here. Not a lot of people know that there are many thermal resorts in Ukraine which offer spa procedures, swimming in the thermal waters or relaxing in the herbal hot tubs. Just imagine spending time with your friends or family swimming outside in a place surrounded by evergreen trees and mountains covered in snow. There is a hydrogen sulphide mineral water spring in Lumshory village, which has been used for health treatments for a long time. Now this kind of spa rest is very popular among tourists and it is worth trying. You can rent a room or a house in this village and enjoy this unordinary type of Jacuzzi.
3. If you have never been to Ukraine at Christmas time (which is celebrated on the 7th of January) then you missed out a lot! Ukrainian Christmas traditions strongly deviate from the traditions of the rest of the world. For the Ukrainians Christmas is the most important family holiday of the whole year. It is celebrated solemnly, as well as merrily, according to ancient customs that have come down through the ages and are still observed today. Ukrainian Christmas customs are based not only on Christian traditions, but, to a great degree, on those of the pre-Christian, pagan culture and religion. The Ukrainian society was basically agrarian at that time and had developed an appropriate pagan culture, elements of which have survived to this day. The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria (Holy Supper) brings the family together to partake in special foods and begin the holiday with many customs and traditions, which reach back to antiquity. The rituals of the Christmas Eve are dedicated to God, to the welfare of the family, and to the remembrance of the ancestors. The dinner normally has 12 dishes which represent Jesus’ 12 disciples. However, even for Christmas, Ukrainians manage to bring in so many ancient rituals, that at times the line between the religious and the pagan becomes quite blurry. Both Christmas dinners traditionally include a number of authentic Ukrainian dishes, which have over thousand year history and date back to pagan times. These unique Ukrainian traditions fascinate the foreigners and yearly attract many tourists.
4. Malanka fest is another important Ukrainian celebration which takes place in winter. Malanka is a Ukrainian folk holiday celebrated on January 13th, which is New Year’s Eve in accordance with the Julian calendar. Malanka commemorates the feast day of St. Melania. On this night in Ukraine, carolers traditionally went from house to house playing pranks or acting out a small play (similar to “Vertep” — see above), with a bachelor dressed in women’s clothing leading the troop. Malanka caps off the festivities of the Christmas holidays, and is oftenthe last opportunity for partying before the solemn period of Lent which precedes Easter.
In the evening before the Malanka night, young men put on all kinds of costumes, some of them weird and bizarre — Devils, Warriors, Police, Witches, Old Women and Men, Death, Blacksmith, Jews, Gypsies, Turks, Hutsuls and representatives of other nationalities. All of these people in their disguise move from house to house performing their little plays and improvisations for those who would care to see their performance. They make very much noise, and in addition to music, they play practical jokes on people — but no one ever gets harmed in any way. Well, the celebrants can attempt to kiss a beautiful girl, or do some mischief, but it’s all in jest.
5. Have you ever seen how beautiful sea in winter is? Winter in Odessa is really special. Only in the cold days you can see snow in this city, but it happens! Crispy wind and cold sea create a special romantic atmosphere when you can walk on the seaside or get into one of many Odessa cafes and restaurants to take a sip of hot spicy wine. It will help you to get warm and cozy. You can also visit one of many interesting excursions over the city. Odessa is a very famous touristic destination, so you will have no problem to find a good hotel here as well as some night entertainments like bars and clubs.