New Year 2013 celebration in Kiev. Maydan Nezalezhnosti.
Salad Olivier - traditional New Year's dish in Ukraine.
New Year eve in Kiev. Sofiivska square.
Ask the common man in Ukraine about his favorite and the most remarkable holiday of the year and you will most likely hear the New Year celebration. Partially, this is due to long lasting soviet propaganda which brought up a few generations with total denial of any religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. Now things are changing but the New Year's celebration is still on the top of favorite holidays in Ukraine.
It is traditional, well-organised and has its own symbols.
The First symbol is the New Year Tree - the decorated fir-tree or pine-tree which must be installed in every flat or public place. It is supposed to bring_luck to its owner during the whole year. New Year Trees are being sold on special markets 1-2 weeks before the New Year eve. Police organizes special control on main roads to catch poachers cutting trees without a permission.
The second symbol of New Year is Did Moroz (grandpa frost - translation)- the analog of Santa in Europe and the US. No particular differences between Santa and Did Moroz, he comes and brings gifts to children and adults. Did Moroz always has a helper - Snigurka, his granddaughter according to the holiday's legend.
Unexpectedly, the third symbol of New Year are tangerines and "olivier" salad. Many years during the Soviet Union tangerines were available in shops only on New Year eve, and this memory is still alive especially among older people. "Olivier" salad is also a tradition, usually people cooked it for new year holiday because during the other time its ingredients were not available in shops.
Usually people come together for celebrating the New Year and present gifts to each other. It is considered to be a family holiday, a lot of people leave cities and go to villages. Also pupils have_big winter holidays this time and many companies have days off during a week or even more.
It has become popular in Kiev in recent years to celebrate New Year on the central square, a stage for performance is installed there. This show attracts thousands of inhabitants and guests.
It should be mentioned that besides the regular New Year on the 1st of January many people celebrate Old New year holidays (14th of January) - according to the old Julian calendar abolished more than 100 years ago.