Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ukrainian Easter Celebrations, the Euro Cup 2012 Kickoff Party, and Victory Day in Kharkiv!

Still catching up on my spring photos from Kharkiv.... Ukrainians celebrated Easter here a week later than America, because they follow the Eastern Orthodox calendar. They bake traditional Easter cakes called "paskas", which looks like a giant Funfetti cupcake but is actually more like a sweet bread with raisins. Here are some photos from the Easter display in Kharkiv's Freedom Square (Площадь Свободы).

The display was huge!
with the Easter egg tree. 
GIANT Easter eggs and cakes :D
Since I'll be working as a UEFA volunteer for Euro Cup 2012 in Kharkiv, I was invited to attend the Kickoff Party along with the 400+ other volunteers. We met at a place called Chateau Ledo in downtown Kharkiv and hung out for a few hours. I wanted to meet the other people who will be working with me in Ticketing, but there were so many people that it turned out more like a disco than an orientation (which is what I thought it would be).
The main stage.... they hired a famous Ukrainian DJ who spoke so fast that I didn't ever catch his name.  
The DJ guy with 2 players from FC Kharkiv Metalist. 
The presentation was in pure Ukrainian and the DJ spoke super fast, so he was really difficult to understand. I would catch maybe 2 words out of each of his sentences, then I tried to ask my Ukrainian friends near me and they had a hard time hearing what he said too (though it was because of the loud sound system, not because they were having problems understanding the language). Overall, the party was okay but not something I would have attended if I had known it was going to be all in Ukrainian. Since English is the official language of UEFA and of EuroCup 2012, I was hoping that they would have run this event in both English and Ukrainian. There are many other volunteers from different countries around the world, so I definitely wasn't the only foreigner who was having a hard time understanding what was going on.

My friend Yulia and I got a photo with the Euro Cup 2012 mascots.
We also got a photo with Papa Gueye, the Kharkiv Metalist defender from Senegal.
Ukraine celebrates Victory Day (День Победы) on May 9th every year, it is an official public holiday and we had school off so I traveled to Kharkiv to check out the celebrations there. They had a large stage setup in Freedom Square, and a parade to honor all the veterans of WWII. In the evening, they had a concert with some famous Ukrainian and Russian singers, but I was afraid of getting lost in the crowd of thousands of people so I stayed at home and watched it on TV instead :D
setting up the stage... I took this photo at like 4pm and people were already waiting in the front row for the concert which started at 8pm. 
policemen guarding the jumbotron. 
soldiers salute. 
thats right, they rolled tanks through the square. 
marching in perfect unison.


Crazy About Ukraine said...

Wow, fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing. I can't believe they had tanks in Freedom square- that must have been quite a sight!

Obat Pembesar said...

good post about

Ukrainian Easter Celebrations, the Euro Cup 2012 Kickoff Party, and Victory Day in Kharkiv!

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