CHRISTMAS IN THE CARPATHIANS: HOME COMFORT AND FAMILY ATMOSPHERE

A few years ago it was hard to imagine that Ukrainians can celebrate Christmas away from home. Borsch boiling in the pot, holiday cleaning, waiting for the arrival of mother-in-law… Why the Ukrainians are leaving home more and more for the holidays? In fact, Christmas is the wonderful time when the whole family comes together in a nice friendly atmosphere, and people enjoy every moment spent with each other. However, more and more often family gatherings are replaced with hiking in the mountains, especially during Christmas. There are several reasons for that, not only the previously mentioned arrival of mother-in-law. The charm of the festive Christmas eve with the family, fluffy snow from the sky and the sound of carols are preceded by many hours of cleaning, cooking holiday meals, plenty of shopping at the last minute and… stress. The ones tired from all that dare to travel in a circle of close people, where everything will be served “under one’s nose”. The lack of a holiday rush gives you an opportunity to enjoy the holidays and presence of your family.

Holiday rush

Although, the trips during New year celebrations are more popular, as before, the trips during Christmas are also fairly common. Judging by the number of Christmas tours to the Carpathians sold and booked through travel agencies, from year to year there is a growing interest in holding a Christmas celebration far from home. Most often, customers buy single tours, more rarely – family ones. According to sociologists, this is because such tours often can be afforded by independent people who don’t have families and belong only to themselves. Another reason is the change in the system of values. People in the modern world become mire busy and fussy. In a big city the pace of life, stresses and efforts to stay afloat push to escape from daily responsibilities for any price, to find entertainment and spend time well. Most people who have decided to spend Christmas in Carpathian Mountains are looking for authentic traditions, understanding of their roots and fostering true values in their children which are easier to find among the rural population than in large cities..

Christmas holidays in Carpathian Mountains – an unusual time

There are a lot of Christmas offers available. Some of the holiday tourists choose offers of Carpathian hotels, tourist centers or estates where winter really looks like winter but not as a mixture of late autumn and early spring. People usually return home excited. Holidays in the mountains are a completely unique form of spending time for many people. Due to a great interest in such form of celebrations, many ski resorts, green tourism farms and holiday hotels offer carefully thought-out home-style holidays. A thick layer of white fluff not only gives the environment a festive look, but also provides a lot of entertainment: skiing, cross country trains, sledges and numerous fun in the snow organized for children. In the tourist areas people don’t forget about carols, Nativity plays and holiday fairs full of authentic atmosphere. Winter mountain scenery, walks and pleasure from the beautiful views bring unforgettable moments. It is therefore not surprising that more and more families prefer holidays in the mountains. There are many advantages of such vacation: fresh mountain air, skiing, sledges, expeditions, ready-made meals and holidays without the stress because of bad foods. And on Christmas eve there is a solemn supper held in hotels and private houses. The Holy supper is characterized by exceptional holiday decorations and specially prepared menu. Everything is organized by qualified staff arranging the real Ukrainian Christmas Eve and preparing the best traditional folk dishes. And, of course, you don’t need to wash the dishes after a meal, so you can just continue your recreation. For many women it is a relief and release from the burden of daily chores.

In the mountains with children and pets? Why not!

People all over from Ukraine gather in the mountains to relax from everyday fuss and worries. The holidays are a family time, so the family atmosphere is a necessary condition of the farms and boarding houses which dare to hold such celebrations. Holidays in the mountains is a perfect alternative for modern Ukrainians. There are offers of holiday entertainment of all kinds available for the families. Some include only the holiday days, but then the vacation may seem too short. Others cover several days – in this case the offer may be richer. Going for a trip for the holidays with children, among other things, is a possibility of discovering new tastes, traditions and customs of another region. Carpathian cuisine and another way of holding the Holy supper are a good experience for both adults and children. If you have chosen green tourism, you have the chance to contact not only with the winter nature, but also to look at the many domestic animals that are generally held by the hosts. Usually, in these estates it is not forbidden for the guests to bring their pets.

Carols, Nativity plays, mulled wine

On the first day of the holiday you can gather for divine Liturgy at a nearest church. Often the organizers of package tours include such a trip in the program. This is a chance not only to celebrate Christmas according to Ukrainian traditions, but also to visit the architectural landmark, as churches in the Ukrainian Carpathians are often small old wooden buildings. Near the church you can often find carols singers to join in or just listen to Ukrainian songs. The traditional Nativity scene won’t pass you too. Apart from the camp sites and resorts Christmas programs that are quite rich, there is always time for personal interests. You won’t be imposed to do what you don’t like. The festive period is a time of rest. You will be able to spend your free time according to your preferences.

It is hard to resist the fabulous design that appears in the mountains together with the arrival of winter. While spending winter holidays in the mountains you can enjoy skiing, riding a snow scooter, try to drive a dog sled or take part in horse race. The ones who don’t like too large doses of adrenaline can take a trip in the sledge train with torches and warm up by the fire on which wild boar is baked, or just sit by the fireplace with a glass of hot wine.