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Ukrainian Wedding Songs for Rituals, Humor and More

11. December 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

No Slavic nation has a larger repertoire of wedding songs than Ukraine. The music embodies moral and ethnic ideals of Ukrainian people and their views on creation of new family.


The songs also celebrate the importance of relationships couples share along with the whole entire history of Ukrainian culture.


The earliest reference to wedding songs in the written sources dates back to 1096, and the first published samples of wedding songs appeared in 1820. Since then they have been included in virtually every anthology of Ukrainian folk songs.


They can be divided into four groups according to their role in the wedding: praising songs (which praise the bride and groom and their families), ritual songs (for rituals like "take off the veil," "veil dance," "matchmaking," "baking korovai," "knead the korovai"), lyric songs (table songs), and short wedding couplets (jokes).


Many Ukrainian wedding songs are written in a joking manner, describing relationships between man and woman, mother and son-in-law, etc. A few guests at a table will start singing one and everyone will join in.


We won't drink horilka, it is very bitter, let the bride and groom make it little sweeter. Bitter, bitter, make it sweeter!


After the short and silly wedding songs, the bride and groom are expected to stand up and kiss. Then, the groomsmen and bridesmaids are often instructed to stand and kiss as well… like this!



While traditional Ukrainian weddings may still incorporate dozens of songs, more modern ceremonies tend to use fewer. Which type of wedding will you and your Ukrainian bride prefer, traditional or modern?


Source: Ukraine Marriage Guide