Your Best Travel Guide to Ukraine 13:37 | 25.04.2017 Choose your language УкраїнськаEnglishРусскийPolskaDeutschItalianoFrançaiseEspañol
Best of Ukraine
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Ukrainian Local Customs Tips
Best Ukrainian Local Customs Tips

  • If you bring flowers, make sure it is an odd number of flowers.

  • Never put an empty bottle on the table (only alcoholic drinks bottles, when you are partying). Put the bottle on the floor.

  • Do not shake hands accross the threshold of a door. It is considered bad luck.

  • As a rule, you cannot "change hands" when pouring drinks. A person, who started to pour drinks, will be a bartender for the evening.

  • At the entrance of upscale restaurants, expect that your coat, briefcase or baggage will be checked.

  • Never whistle inside the house. It means that there will not be any money in the house.

  • Ukrainians never celebrate their birthday before it officially comes as it is considered a bad luck.

  • Ukrainians wear the marriage ring on their right hand.

  • Be prepared to take off your shoes upon entering a house. Most hosts will provide you with a pair of slippers.

  • In Orthodox Churches women wear scarves or hats, and men take off their hats.

  • A single girl will never sit at the corner of the table, because it is considered that she will not get married during 7 years.

  • It is considered a bad luck to return to your house after you've already left. (if you forgot something, etc.) But it is possible to reduce this bad effect by glancing in the mirror. :)

  • Sometimes locals don't want to take money from your hand, so you might be asked to put them on the table, sofa etc., only after that they'll take them. (for ex. if you are renting a private appartment) (explanation: usually this rule is active if you see the person first time)

  • Ukrainians will never drink cold drinks or eat ice-cream if they've got a sore throat or cold.

  • Never give a knife (set of knives) as a present to the Ukrainian. It means, you and that person will be "on knives", in other words, Ukrainians believe it will ruin your relationship. But if you decide to bring it anyway, then expect to get some money for it, some "symbolic price". Even if it is just one hryvnia (Ukrainian currency).

  • It is considereded you cannot just give animals as a gift. Expect to get some money for it, some "symbolic price". Even it it just one hryvnia (Ukrainian currency).

  • It's a bad luck if you accedentally scatter salt on the table, floor, etc. It means you'll have a fight or a quarrel with somebody that day. To avoid it, you'll need to take a pinch of salt and scatter it over your left shoulder. Repeat it three times. :)

  • When a member of the household departs on a journey, don't sweep the floor until they arrive at their destination.

  • Don't repay loans in the evening. :)

  • Don't take the garbage out in the evenings. :)

  • When passing through the aisles in a theater or elsewhere, it is polite to face the people sitting down.

  • Death and the Afterlife. Ukrainians observe ancient funeral traditions very faithfully. A collective repast follows funeral services and is repeated on the ninth and fortieth days and then again at six and twelve months. An annual remembrance day called Provody on the Sunday after Easter gathers families at ancestral graves to see off once again the souls of the departed. Provody is widely observed in contemporary Ukraine. Under the Soviets it symbolized an ancient tradition. Its Christian symbolism represents Christ's victory over death. Its pre-Christian roots are attuned to the rebirth of nature in the spring and to an ancient ancestors' cult.

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