Ukrainian Feast in Washington
A traditional Ukrainian feast with singing and dancing was held in a Ukrainian school in Washington DC. Children rehearsed their performances for several months and parents cooked food for the event and bought presents
“We have lean borsch, as well as green borsch, borsch with chicken, and borsch with beans. For any taste preference!” a cook said.
“Amazing cabbage rolls! I recommend them. The money from them will be used by the school, and the holubtsi are for you!” a man in a Ukrainian traditional shirt said.
Different types of cookies were offered — chocolate, almond, lemon, and poppy seed. The preparation for the feast starts in fall. Parents of the Ukrainian school students help to organize the event. Tetiana Murza was studying in the school before, but now her kids are attending the school.
“Many people get together, cook varenyky and freeze them for later. We cook holubtsi in advance, just like we bake cookies. It takes us almost all of fall to get prepared. This festival includes our Christmas market and a Saint Nicholas Day event for children. We want them to experience Ukrainian traditions and feel a part of the Ukrainian community,” Tetiana said.
Next to the tables heaped with food, there is another table that barely stands under the weight of presents. Principal jokingly says that it is from the “Man Upstair”
“The ‘Man Upstairs’ or the money box is where parents put their presents. But it’s a secret… Do not tell anyone, let the children think that Saint Nicholas brings them,” school Principal Oleh Vretsona said.
But what kind of celebration is it if there are no songs and dancing? Kids prepare their performances for several months, learning poems and folk dances.
As the concert ends the most expected moment of the evening comes – Saint Nicholas comes to the stage and gives children presents.
Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated in Washington for the 54th time in a row since the school was founded.