Performance of folk musicians during the City Day
Throughout centuries Chernivtsi, as the center of Bukovyna, was forming as a multinational city with tolerance atmosphere which became the cradle of artists representing different cultures. Literature and art chronicles of the city are abundant of names well-known both in Ukraine and in whole Europe. Today you may learn the cultural heritage of Bukovyna in the Star Alley in Teatralna Square. It represents dozens of names of famous culture personalities whose life and work are tightly connected with Chernivtsi.
Bukovynian literature works are represented by numerous glorious names. The best known of them are Olha Kobylyanska, Yuriy Fedkovych (classics of Ukrainian literature), Mihai Eminecu (famous Romanian poet), Rosa Ausländer and Paul Celan (Jewish poets writing mostly in German). Paul Celan’s works belong to the treasure of the world culture. All of them wrote in different languages and each of them had own unique style. Most of these people were born in Chernivtsi, got their education here and formed as creative personalities.
The whole world knows Joseph Schmidt, a tenor, "German Caruso” from Bukovyna. He started his singer career from the child choir of Chernivtsi Temple Synagogue and after some time his song went round the world.
Volodymyr Ivasyuk, the author of storied Chervona Ruta ("Red Rue”) was living and creating in Chernivtsi.
Olha Kobylyanska Music and Drama Theater is the main center of the city culture. Besides the Theater, there is also Oblast Philharmonic Hall built in 1877 as the Music Society House. Today in this structure you can hear unique melodies of the Carpathians, see original Hutsul dances performed by Bukovynian Honoured Song and Dance Ensemble covering almost 80 types of theatrics. The Hall was the first step to the great podium for Sophia Rotaru, Nazariy Yaremchuk, Vasyl Zinkevych, Pavlo Dvorskiy (first members of the famous Smerichka band) and other talented singers.
Smerichka band, mid 1970s
Chernivtsi residents and its guests can make use of the Organ Hall (in the Armenian Catholic Church), Oblast Puppet Theater, more than 10 museums, 4 music schools and one art school, 5 movie theaters, House of Aesthetics and Leisure, Center of Culture and Arts, Ballroom Dance Studio, 10 clubs, 31 libraries. The city has more than 100 religious organizations and diocesan authorities, 4 religious institutions.
More than a dozen of active non-profit cultural organizations operate in Chernivtsi, including A.Mickiewicz Polish Culture Society, M.Eminescu Romanian Culture Society, Society of Austrian and German Culture, Chernivtsi Oblast Branch of Ukrainian Culture Fund. Since 1997 Chernivtsi has hosted an international art event under "Days of European Culture Heritage” project. Every year "Bukovynian Meetings” folklore festival is held during the City Day in which art groups from Poland, Hungary, Romania and Germany take part.
Chernivtsi was the city that initiated Chervona Ruta, a Ukrainian national song festival, hosts V.Ivasyuk International Song Festival and Vizerunky Bukovyny ("Bukovynian Designs”) Oblast Art Festival.
No doubt, Bukovyna is also proud of its folk culture. Due to ethnic variety, this features a lot of traditions and styles. Naturally, it offers visitors a lot of beautiful crafts, embroidery and pottery being among them. Embroidered rushnyky (towels), pyrography, painting on wood, bead necklaces and other items impress with their beauty.
Embroidered rushnyky (towels)
Weaver installation, the Museum of Folk Architecture and Everyday Life
Maslyana (also known as Maslenitsa) is an ancient Slavic holiday to see off the winter and to welcome the spring. During this event celebrated for a week during mid March people eat pancakes and burn the didukh straw puppet.
A didukh in Soborna Sq, Chernivtsi
The Petrivsky Yarmarok (Saint Peter Fair) timed to Saint Peter Day in July is one of the most notable events in Chernivtsi and whole Bukovyna. It is arranged for a weekend and during this time the city's downtown becomes one big market in which kiosks selling literary everything are mixed with various performances.
Petrivsky Yarmarok, a stage with folk performance in Soborna Sq, Chernivtsi
A kiosk with vyshyvanky (embroidered shirts) of different styles
Crafts made from sheep wool
Bryndza (cheese made from sheep milk) of various shapes and compositions
During Petrivsky Yarmarok Chernivtsi's streets are totally packed up with people
Naturally, it is impossible to imagine today's Bukovyna without Malanka Fest, Ukraine's main carnival timed to the religious St. Melania ("Malanka") Day and St. Basil Day. Respectively, this is usually conducted on January 14, although this date may be moved a bit to match the weekend. During the Festival groups from different towns and settlements of Bukovyna compete in the artistic ingenuity.
Malanka Parade in Centralna Sq
Guisers in Filarmonska Sq
Seeing this various costumes you may feel as if in a parallel world
And yet more guisers!
A Trojan Horse installation
A big Vatra (fire) is a common way of crowning every big Bukovynian holiday