Malanka Holiday: traditions and customs of the Generous Evening in Ukraine

On January 13, on the eve of the Old New Year, Ukraine traditionally celebrates the holiday of Malanka or Generous Evening. Its name comes from the Venerable Melania the Roman, whose day of remembrance falls on this day.

And it is called generous in honor of the main dish – Generous Kuta. In addition, there is no fasting on January 13, so on Christmas Eve the table is rich in various meat products and hearty dishes such as jellies, blood sausages, sausages, pancakes, dumplings, pies. Our ancestors believed that on this holiday a generous and rich table will provide them with prosperity and well-being for the whole year.

Customs and traditions for Christmas Eve

Traditionally, on Christmas Eve, the whole family gathers at a rich holiday table, and it is important to reconcile with neighbors and between family members to celebrate the Old New Year in peace and harmony.

The house should be cleaned and all things cleaned. In addition, on the feast of Malanka it is customary to dress up as animals and folk characters. After sunset, the girls gathered in a group and gave generously. They disguised themselves as mythical creatures – Malanka, Vasily and their friends. Malanka should wear a wreath with ribbons, a necklace, various jewelry, and Vasyl should wear boots, a dressing gown and trousers. The boys have their own traditions, they “lead Malanka”, and among the fairy-tale characters you can find a goat, a crane, gypsies and of course Malanka, in which one of the unmarried boys disguises himself. In these costumes, generous people go from house to house with Christmas carols, entertaining passers-by with dances and various jokes. Also, on this holiday it was customary for girls to divination in order to find out their destiny. While the girls were divining, the boys stole doors and gates from the house. Then the owner, in order to return the loss, had to expose the boys to Mogorich.

According to the accepted custom, the holiday of Malanka lasts until the morning. At dawn, it was customary to burn at the crossroads sheaves of straw (so-called “grandparents”), which stand in homes from Christmas Eve to the Old New Year. Then the boys and girls lit large fires and jumped over them to cleanse themselves from evil forces. In the morning, the boys went to each house to congratulate the hosts on the New Year and sowed the grain of the house with wishes of prosperity, peace and prosperity to each family. This tradition has survived in Ukraine to this day.

Traditions of celebrating Malanka in Skhidnytsia

It is most fun and exciting to celebrate the Generous Evening in the Carpathians, where Ukrainian traditions are respected, and the fabulous nature creates a cozy festive atmosphere and romantic mood. Various recreation centers and sanatoriums offer their New Year and holiday programs with carnival festivals and theatrical performances. Thus, in Transcarpathia in cities and villages hold various festivals: in Beregovo – a festival of Christmas nativity scenes, in Mukachevo – a festival “Red Wine” with wine tasting, in the village. Gecha in the Beregiv region is a festival of gentesh, in the village of Sinyak – a festival “In the snowy Carpathians” with sports competitions and tasting of Ukrainian dishes.

A varied program of Christmas holidays is at the hotel TAOR Karpaty Resort & Spa **** in Skhidnytsia. On the day of Malanka’s celebration (Generous Evening) there will be merry dances, various outdoor activities, creative master classes, theatrical performances by artists of the Lviv Regional Drama Theater named after Yuri Drohobych.

In addition, all this will be accompanied by loud carols and Christmas carols, as well as original authentic dishes from the chef of the hotel TAOR Karpaty Resort & Spa **** and intoxicating liqueurs with hot mulled wine. All this will create a great mood and help to absorb the fabulous atmosphere of the ancient winter holiday, which will be remembered for a long time by both adults and children.