Skip to main content

Halloween and Ukrainian Traditions, the Volos Night

Nikolas studies different subcultures. Especially, he is interested in the feasts and holidays ones.

Fear is one of the Important Components of our Sub-conscience

This feeling indicates approaching unpredictable events, and we must overpass them. That is why Halloween plays the role of folk art therapy as our victory under black forces, such as uncontrolled emotions. Ukraine has deep roots in this battle. Let's remember the experience of Mykola Gogol, a Ukrainian author. His creative works such as The Night before Christmas and Viy confirm how strong are pagan traditions in Ukrainian culture. This tradition remains in the novel of Mikhail Bulgakov Master and Margarita in the twentieth century. The miraculous picture of famous Taras Shevchenko Undines Under the Dnipro proves it as well. In contrast, how did it begin? Who is Volos?

Volos-Slavic Pagan Deity



Undines-Rusalkys Under the Dnipro

Pumpkin Is not a Foreigner for Ukrainians

About a pumpkin - a symbol of not only Halloween but also Ukrainian holidays, the known authoress Lada Luzina writes:

"Personally for me became the strange opening, that a legendary pumpkin with a fiery grin is a quite not foreigner, and active participant of a row of old folk holidays of Ukrainians And cites a quotation of the Ukrainian ethnographer Oleksander Kurochkine, that binds a pumpkin to the holiday of Andrii, that is on November, 30:

"In the Podolsk villages with the holiday of Andrii, there was the constrained custom of the making of pumpkin masks. Lighted up from within by a candle (and later - by a flashlight), in darkness they reminded a human skull - what not Ukrainian Halloween? Usually, guys frightened by them girls "on a pore", id est those that attained nubility".

Luzina also describes the celebration of New Year in Ukraine - to reform of Petro І he was marked on September, (after old style) 1 :

"On the Kyiv markets arranged the real holiday of lights and celebrated Marriage of candle. Exactly from this day in Ukraine began to work at a fire, candles, and slivers. One of the first lights of Kyiv caught fire in the same pumpkin lamp, which of us now associate exceptionally with foreign Halloween.

Therefore it is by no means a foreigner the Halloween pumpkin. The Volos night is near.”

The Divine Solokha from Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka by Liudmyla Khytiayeva

Ukrainian Witch

Ukrainian Witch

What is Witchcraft?

The belief in witchcraft as an ability to harm people and animals by supernatural power is common to agrarian communities. There are some possible results of this action:

  • Blaming a neighbor, relative or stranger for disease;
  • Depriving a cow of her milk;
  • Bringing about a drought, storm, thunderstorm;
  • Personalized mifortune

Some Secrets about Carving the Pumpkin for Halloween

.1. You are to choose fresh veggies only, which do have not a hard rind. With them it will be simpler to create the lantern in the form of the face;

Scroll to Continue

.2. To choose the veg without damages and rotten places, because it is the subject of decoration and for gladdening the eye;

.3. To slice off the cover or cut out the bottom with an acute knife, the second variant is better, more pragmatic as the pumpkin will be laid on the table, windowsill, or on the floor.

.4. To take out seeds and puree with the help of an acute spoon. For easier carving the face to scoop out puree from that side, you will cut out the face and eyes. The ideal width of the pumpkin is 2.5 cm.

.5. To reassign the drawing from the master page with carbon paper. Also, you can pierce the drawing along the contour by the needle or the thin Shiloh. For convenience, it's possible to join holes with the marker, and then to cut out the tracery according to clear lines.

.6. To lube cuts with Vaseline. The tracery will gladden the eye longer.

.7. To lay the pumpkin into the water, if it fades.

.8. To rub it with ground cinnamon or mace nut, then your lantern will not shine only but smell as sweet.

.9. We recommend you make a few holes in the cover: the hot air goes out without obstacles and burns puree.

.10. If you place candles into a freezing camera, they will burn longer from the inside of the veg.

The Sacred Vegetable for Halloween-Pumpkin

Halloween With Pumpkins



Let us Compare

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What immigrants in the USA found the pumpkin better suitable for the tradition of Jack-o-lantern tradition?
    • Irish immigrants
    • Chinese immigrants
    • Russianj immigrants
  2. Who gave Stingy Jack a turnip with a carved face?
    • God
    • Devil
    • Ordinary people
  3. When were the souls of deads active according to different myths?
    • On the night of January, the 1st
    • On the night of April, the 1st
    • On the night of October 31st into November the1st

Answer Key

  1. Irish immigrants
  2. Devil
  3. On the night of October 31st into November the1st

This is Because it is...Holiday

As we can see, the holiday Halloween composes a whole sub-cultural phenomenon with its traditions and history characteristic for many countries. In Ukraine, Orthodox Christianity takes an implacable stand about this event. Though it is separated from the State, the number of temples increases, and its influence on the social life in this sphere is considerable. Jean Baudrillard, the French philosopher, thinks about this holiday as a form of revenge by youth on adult life. In contrast, this holiday can't be analyzed, with its advantages and disadvantages, because it is ... HOLIDAY!

Related Articles