Ukrainian Weddings Exhibit Home
Ukrainian Weddings Exhibit Home

Wedding Traditions in Ukraine

Roots-Family Picture

Ukrainian wedding traditions are a rich and elaborate rite of passage for a proud people spread widely around the world in the 20th century. Like all folk traditions, they have inherited elements from the past which are constantly influenced by the changing cultural environment. In this website, we explore these traditions in several different settings. First, we review the folk traditions described from Ukrainian villages in the late 1800s, outlining the "classical" elements of the ritual complex. We follow with a specific sample of a recent wedding in the region of Bukovyna to see how the traditions are manifested in some cases near the end of the 20th century. This wedding, from the village of Toporivtsi, is illustrated with a descriptive text, a special photo gallery as well as striking video excerpts.

In the second major section of the Ukrainian Weddings website, we turn our attention to Ukrainian Canadian weddings. Symbols and remnants of village traditions practiced long ago in Ukraine are often apparent, while Canadian innovations are also common. A unique Ukrainian Canadian wedding complex has taken shape. We identify several general Canadian influences that have become part of many Ukrainian-Canadian weddings, then proceed to elaborate on the traditions themselves prior to 1940. Then we move to the more contemporary situation, describing the traditions as practiced since 1970.

Video clips from several weddings in Canada and Ukraine are highlighted in the third section of the website, bringing together sight and sound and movement to produce clearer impressions. The "Reflections" page allows visitors to contribute their own descriptions of Ukrainian weddings to our archive of Ukrainian folklore. Teacher Resources suggest classroom activities for grade 7 and grade 10 classes.



Wedding Bread Photo

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