Holidays always held a special place in the lives of Ukrainians. Most of them are connected with the household aspect. Rich Ukrainian mythology with mysterious creatures can give some idea to modern people of how people lived, what traditions they had and why they appeared.
One of the most important Ukraine traditions is connected with rushnyk which is a kind of a towel with embroidery. It was mostly used on weddings, the more rushnyks were on the wedding, the more respectful it seemed. It was presented to the fiancé by the parents of the fiancée, in that way they expressed their consent to the marriage. A fiancée embroidered the rushnyk which was presented to her fiancé herself. One of them was a special wedding rushnyk, the couple stood on it during the ceremony.
One more Ukrainian tradition is connected with winter holidays. Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated on 6-7th of January. The preparation of a special holiday table usually began long before the Christmas. The most important dish is kutya, it is cooked of wheat, honey, nuts, etc. During all winter holidays till the Epiphany kutya must be on the table. After the dinner children brought kutya to their godparents while adults were preparing for the church service. But in the evening began the most cheerful part of a holiday, young unmarried girls were telling fortune by different means. Another important Christmas ritual is carol-singing; children went from house to house singing special Christmas songs "kolyadki" and got candies and different food for that.
One of the most fairy-tale and poetic Ukrainian tradition is the celebration of Ivana Kupala which is held on the 7th of June. Young men and girls made the effigies of mythological creatures which were drowned or burnt at the end. The meaning of such ritual is unknown. Magical meaning had a ritual of jumping over the fire; if you jumped successfully you will be happy all the year but if not— misfortunes will occur. At night the bravest ones were trying to find a flower of fern in forests but it was believed that a flower was guarded by devildom, in case you find it, you will get a glut of wealth.
Ukraine is rich in traditions and rituals, most of them are mystical and mysterious. If you want to get into a fairy-tale just make a travel in Ukraine during such holidays, in West Ukraine you can feel the atmosphere of a holiday best of all because the majority of traditions are preserved there.