Christmas in Lviv. City’s Christmas traditions and what to do here

Without overstating it, Christmas Lviv is something incredible! Because so many unforgettable events, vivid impressions and a fantastic atmosphere are all possible only in the city of Lion during the Christmas celebrations. Therefore, it is not surprising that travel agencies offer numerous New Year and Christmas tours to the fabulous Lviv.

We are also ready to immerse you in the magical atmosphere of Lviv on our tours:

In addition, you can see other Christmas and New Year tours we offer.

How to plan the Lviv Christmas holiday

Christmas is one of the most favorite holidays for Ukrainians. There is so much warmth, love, sincerity in it that any winter storms and frosts instantly lose their strength. The Christmas holidays in Lviv will be unforgettable in any weather. In this article, we will provide you with some information about celebrating Christmas in Lviv.

When to travel to Lviv for Christmas?

Usually, Christmas and New Year celebrations begin in early December. The Christmas market, the House of St. Nicholas, the installation and lighting of the city Christmas tree – all this will begin welcoming tourists in the first half of December.

Festive liturgies will be performed in the Catholic churches of the city on December 25, because on this day most of Europe celebrates Christmas. Therefore, vacationers usually book a tour to Lviv for Christmas in advance, about October-November.

We respect the traditions of others, but we value our own above all else. Therefore, the main part of the Christmas celebrations and entertainment happens on January 5-7, when most Eastern Christians are waiting for the rising of the evening dawn to sit down to the Holy Supper and the birth of Jesus Christ.

Beliefs and traditions passed down from parents to children are a link between generations that cannot be lost. That is why the people of Lviv are so zealous in protecting and following the Christmas customs of our ancestors.

According to Ukrainian traditions, the Holy Supper consists of 12 fasting dishes. If you plan to celebrate Christmas Eve in Lviv, you will taste all of them. Choose a Christmas tour to Lviv if you want to get to know Ukrainian customs. You can plan a trip by yourself too, but remember that there are a lot of tourists here at this time.

The Holy Supper

So it is better to take care of the Holy Supper in advance so that with the first evening dawn the whole family can sit at the festive table and taste the fasting dishes. Traditional festive dishes include kutia, compote, dumplings, mashed beans, cabbage rolls, potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, etc. Ukrainians dressed in festive clothes sit down to the Holy Supper to thank the Lord for the gifts and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Lviv Christmas market – a favorite spot for travelers

Chrismas markets are wonderful places. Booths are full of colorful souvenirs, Christmas lights shine bright, the aroma of gingerbread and mulled wine is everywhere.

Craftsmen begin to make all these beautiful items, which you will see at the Christmas fair, long before the winter holidays. Woodwork, Christmas decorations, symbolic souvenirs, sheep wool accessories, jewelry, Christmas delicacies, and other produce will enable you to bring a piece of a Christmas fairy tale home.

The Christmas market in Lviv traditionally is located on Rynok Square and Svobody Avenue. It begins on December 7-8 and ends in late January.

What to do in Lviv during Christmas

Christmas traditions in Lviv is a rich cultural and spiritual program, which involves many tourist attractions. Let’s review several locations where main Christmas celebrations happen.

1. Liturgies in Greek Catholic and Orthodox churches

We recommend you see the following churches in Lviv:

  • Armenian Cathedral;
  • the Church of the Holy Eucharist (former Dominican Church);
  • Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church (former Jesuit Church);
  • Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth;
  • St. George’s Cathedral;
  • Church of the Assumption on Ruska St.;
  • Church of Saint John Chrysostom;
  • St. Paraskeva Church etc.
St. George’s Cathedral in winter

In these churches and cathedrals, you will not only hear beautiful Christmas chanting but also see majestic pearls of architectural heritage.

2. Theaters – immerse in the Christmas fairy tale.

Christmas won’t be celebrated in Lviv without traditional carols. Carolers sing them during International Christmas Festival. This annual event takes place in front of the Opera House (The Solomiya Krushelnytska Lviv State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet).

Vertep – Ukrainian Christmas puppet theatre

3. Installation of didukh symbolizing the connection between generations

Didukh is a Ukrainian Christmas decoration made from wheat and decorated with ribbons. Installation of didukh is a mandatory activity in Lviv during Christmas. Visit Stefana Yavorskoho Square to see how locals do it while singing carols and songs.

Didukh is made either from the first or from the last sheaf. The item symbolizes the spirit of ancestors, connection between generations of Ukrainians. Every year, the people of Lviv make this symbol of Christmas to impress the guests of the city with a majestic and beautiful didukh.

4. «Parade of star-bearers» – another attraction of Christmas Lviv.

Festive “Star-bearers Parade” is traditionally held on January 8. It starts from Muzeyna Square and goes all the way to Rynok Square. Bright Christmas decorations, costumes, and melodic carols by participants of the parade will immerse you in the Christmas atmosphere.

5. Christmas in Shevchenko Hai

Shevchenko Hai is an open-air museum with ancient huts, churches, and other buildings. Every year during Christmas it hosts exciting events with vertep theater, caroling, workshops, and entertainment that every tourist will enjoy. Here you can even handcraft your own vertep or Christmas star that will remind you about fantastic Lviv after you return home.

6. Ice skating or a walk through the night city – what else to include in your Lviv Christmas trip?

Be sure to take a walk around the city in the evening during the New Year and Christmas holidays. After all, during this period Lviv is filled with bright light, a special atmosphere, aromas of Christmas delicacies and happy laughter of passers-by.
Visit the skating rink too. After all, you travel for bright emotions and activities. So both skating and an evening walk will be those bright moments that you will remember for a long time.

You might be interested in Christmas and New Year tours

Delicious end of your Christmas trip in Lviv coffee shop

Everyone who tried coffee in a cozy coffee shop in Lviv knows that Lviv coffee is the best. Enjoy a hot flavourful drink after your active Christmas trip.

We invite you to visit Christmas Lviv on our tours:

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