20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine

16. Ukrainian Cuisine

20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine
Ukrainian Borsch

The traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, eggs, fish, and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes, grains, and fresh and pickled vegetables. The Ukrainian cuisine is extremely varied and exciting, with different ethnic minorities and a rich multicultural history bringing a range of different foods to the table.

Nonetheless, popular traditional dishes include varenyky (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, or cherries) and holubtsi (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots, and meat). The most famous Ukrainian dish is borscht. Whilst many Russians claimed it derived from the motherland, many Ukrainians passionately believe they are the founders of this dish. It consists of soup made from beetroot, cabbage, and potato; true borscht also contains meat, most commonly, pork.

Famous Ukrainian drinks are Lviv beer, horilka (vodka) with pepper, medovukha — horilka with honey, Zakarpattya wine, and Lviv coffee. Ukrainians prepare very tasty desserts: cheesecake (syrnyk), poppycake (makivnyk), honeycake (medivnyk), and many many others.

17. Chicken Kyiv is not from Kyiv

20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine
Chicken Kyiv

Contrary to popular belief, the delicious stuffed chicken breast dish is not from Kyiv. In fact, there are several suggestions as to its origins. Whilst some believe that it was created in the Russian Empire, others have suggested that it was created in France and became assimilated into Russian culture under the name, Côtelettes de volaille. It was then renamed Chicken Kyiv by New York restaurants trying to appease their Russian clientele in the 20th century. Neither Chicken France nor Chicken New York, have the same ring to them though…

18. Chornobyl

20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine
The consequences of the Chernobyl disaster

Ukraine was at the heart of one of the biggest catastrophes of the 20th century. Chornobyl Nuclear Powerplant exploded in 1986, leaving a once-thriving community of Ukrainians completely destroyed. The effects of the explosion were felt far and wide, and have recently been dramatized, albeit brutally honestly, in HBO’s recent series of the same name.

Recently, it has been possible to return to Chornobyl. Here, you can witness the destruction caused by this disaster, and understand yet another obstacle that Ukraine has managed to overcome as a country.

19. Young Country

20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine
Independence Day in Ukraine

Following on from Ukraine’s complex history, it is also one of the youngest countries in the world. It was only in 1991 that the country finally achieved its independence. Such a feat gave many young Ukrainians hope that their country would thrive on its own in the near future. The years succeeding this independence have still been difficult, with Russia continually flexing its muscles. But Ukrainians are proud, patriotic, and, undoubtedly as a result of their history, strong. With accelerating agricultural and IT industries, there is much hope and opportunities for the country barely older than most millennials.

20. Ukrainian Festivals

20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine
New Year celebrations in traditional style

There are many different festivals and fairs in Ukraine. Ukrainian musicians are flourishing in rock, pop, jazz, folk, electric, drum, and bass. Hence, festivals, such as Dubno-fest and Leopolis Jazz Fest in Lviv are extremely popular. Moreover, Atlas Weekend festival is one of Europe’s biggest festivals, attracting over 500,000 people this year, showing contemporary modern popular music.

Meanwhile traditional and ethnic festivals provide insight into conventional Ukrainian celebrations. Many, however, are far from conventional. These include the Malanka festival in Bukovina, the Land Of Dreams Festival in Lviv, the medieval festival of Tustan, the Festival of the Brynza in Rahiv, and Sorochinsky Fair.

20 Amazing Facts About Ukraine
Ivana Kupala Day

Commemorated on June, the 23rd, Ivana Kupala Day is one of Ukraine’s most fun traditional celebrations. Boys and girls join hands in pairs and jump over a fire in a purification ritual. Locals believe that when a couple skip the fire without losing grip of each other, their love is destined to last a lifetime.

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