Friday, October 30, 2009

Ukrainian folk festivals in Carpathian Mountains

In the autumn it’s worth visiting an old town of Kolomyya. During this time there’s an international folk festival called “Kolomyika” wherein you’ll find yourself inside a whirlpool of folk songs and dances. In September you can taste national dishes made of brynza during the festival “Hutsulska brynza” and of course you’ll never be able to forget a Christmas in Lviv. In the theatres and in the streets of the city the festival of vertep theatres is in full swing. In the middle of January the “Red wine” festival starts in Mukachevo and it is no wonder since top quality wine is produced in Zakarpattya. According to a story, in 1376 Elizabeth, the Queen of Hungary and Poland conferred the right of medieval European self-government on the city for selling wine. During the festival you can appreciate the taste of home made wines and factory beverages in the central square of the town and if you like, you can buy a bottle or even a tub of wine. On an Easter Day it’s better to visit Lviv where you can hear the chime of cathedral bells and the sounds of the organ. What’s more, only at this time and only in Lviv can you purchase genuine Ukrainian pysanka, each a true work of art. Another festival that will take your breath away capitalized on the Carpathians being a unique European center for highland milk sheep breeding. The festival is called the “Polonyna March” and its roots go back to the times of paganism. The festival presupposes cattle coming out to the highland pastures, and the festivities it is accompanied with are nothing but striking. Among them is a special ceremony, the play of the most extraordinary musical instruments and theatric actions. Even the cattle are dressed up for the event.