Trinity Sunday – Ukrainian traditions and customs

For centuries, Trinity Sunday Holiday has embodied sincere joy, gladness, and spirituality. Trinity Sunday is a very beautiful holiday because all homes and churches are decorated with twigs, herbs, and flowers.

Trinity Sunday (Pentecost) is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter and symbolizes the opening of God’s triune nature:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost also represents purification, the victory of truth and virtue.


Mysterious meaning of herbs

Each plant has its own sacral meaning that traces its roots back to pre-Christian times. For instance, calamus brings luck and protects against misfortune. Its stalks are thrown on the floor in all rooms. Sage is hung above the front door to prevent dark forces from coming into a house. Tansy and lovage protect from the evil eye.

Thyme is considered to be a feminine plant among Slavs. Young women who dream about a happy and strong marriage wear thyme as a talisman. Mint and melissa possess calming properties and drag welfare and harmony to the home.

And to top it all, it is important to know that collected and consecrated herbs on Trinity Sunday possess healing properties and help those who don’t hold grudges. They serve as a mascot against fires, diseases, and poverty. Consecrated herbs are dried and kept all year round.


How to decorate a home on Trinity Sunday

Since olden times Slavic people decorated their homes and temples with herbs and flowers. It was believed that greenery was the symbol of life.


What people bring to the church

On Trinity Sunday people take birch, maple, or oak twigs as well as field flowers to the church. In such a way they express gratitude to the God.


Folk saying

According to folk beliefs, if it is raining on Trinity Sunday – then it will be a warm and fruitful summer. A marriage proposal on Trinity Sunday is considered to be a positive sign – spouses will live in love and harmony for many years.


Traditions and beliefs

1) Any labor is forbidden on this holiday.

2) People visit festive church services taking with them green bouquets made of herbs and flowers.

3) People arrange feasts and invite all relatives and friends. The Pentecost is not a fast day, so all housewives can showcase their culinary art.

4) In olden times, it was recommended to walk barefoot on grass, gather and dry curative herbs. According to traditions, people baked a round loaf (karavay) or a sweet pie. It was a custom to keep rusks left from the round loaf and add them to a wedding pie to bring happiness and love to a newly married couple.

5) On this holiday people try to drive away sad thoughts, do not quarrel with family members and forgive offenders.

6) This holiday was always loved by young girls. There is a tradition to make wreaths and put them in a river to tell fortunes. Karavay (round loaf) that was baked on occasion of the holiday was given away to unmarried girls.

7) One more custom is to give alms to all people in need.

8) Earlier people organized outdoor festivals – they sang and danced in a ring.

9) There was a good omen to ask in marriage. It was also believed that if people celebrated a wedding on Trinity Sunday than newlyweds will have a happy life together.


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