5 Traditions You Will Only See at a Ukrainian Wedding

5 Traditions You Will Only See at a Ukrainian Wedding
Ukranian wedding
Written by Linda Hohnholz

Ukrainian weddings have unique customs and are often remembered for a long time. Not all newlyweds adhere to traditional wedding rites. But Ukraine marriage traditions are more common at marriage ceremonies. Some of them are unique. Have you ever been to a celebration like this? If not, you must definitely see it with your own eyes.

Meeting of the young

Parents of young people meet newlyweds at home with bread and salt. It is a rite of blessing for long family life. There is special wedding bread – korowai is a specially baked bread, in the middle of which salt is poured. It is also decorated with various patterns and ornaments. Korowai must be on a special fabric –  rushnyk. It is usually white and decorated with embroidery. The newlyweds are served a korowai and the youngsters have to break off a piece of it. There is a sign whose piece of korowai is bigger, that person will be the head of the family. After that, the newlyweds must taste salt, which symbolizes that they are ready to be together even in sorrow.

Covering the head

This is a very moving ceremony. At the same time, the newly-made husband removes the veil from the girl’s head and his mother ties a scarf instead of a veil. This shows that she is already a married woman. After which the bride alternately invites one of her unmarried friends to her and tries on a veil on her. At this time, the remaining girls drive around the round dance.

As soon as the veil has been removed from the bride’s head, it’s time to throw the bride’s bouquet. According to legend, whoever catches the flowers will marry next year.

Transfer the family fire

Parents of the bride and groom light candles and pass fire to the newlyweds. Most often, guests and relatives become around them. This is all accompanied by songs, parting words of parents, sometimes prayers. When the candles of the newlyweds are lit, the parents’ speech is said – they sit at their table, but the candles burn all evening. No one extinguishes candles.

Buying a bride

Perhaps one of the most fun ceremonies. Since the bride and groom must sleep in different houses before the wedding, most often the bride stays in the parents’ house. There come guests from the bride, the bridesmaid. Accordingly, guests from the groom come to his house. Before the groom sees the bride, and they will go to the registration of marriage – he may redeem the bride. For this, the bridesmaids do not let him or the groomsman to the bride’s door. They arrange various tests and come up with tasks that need to be completed. if the groom does not cope with the task – he must pay off. It can be money, gifts, etc.

Basically, this is a fun and funny experience.


This is one of the main attributes. It performs the function of a talisman. Most often it is made of natural fabric and decorated with traditional embroidery. For a long time the girl herself had to embroider him. This is a very long and painstaking work. She also collected a dowry, which will then be transferred to her or her husband after the wedding.

The korowai should lay down on the rushnyk, he must be present at the marriage ceremony. The parents of the newlyweds lay a rushnyk in front of them to protect the marriage. There is a sign that whoever first steps on it – will be the main one in the family.


Ukrainian wedding is always a lot of songs, dances, music. It looks very colorful. Most often, the wedding lasts several days. Usually, on the second day, guests gather, celebrate and conduct ceremonies.


About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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