Photo: Lviv City Council
8 January, a traditional Christmas procession of star bearers took place in Lviv. It started at the Klymenty Sheptytsky Museum of Folk Architecture and Life, also known as Shevchenkivskyi Hai, and continued through the city centre.
This year, the star collection of the festival was replenished with six new stars, decorated on the models of folk master Volodymyr Shahal.
Prior to that, 7 January, a mass carol took place in the Klymenty Sheptytskyi Museum, celebrating the Eastern-style Christmas Day.
For reference: The majority faith in Lviv is Greek Catholicism, is a Christian confession which acknowledges Catholic doctrine and is in communion with the Pope, but maintains Eastern rites and rituals, including married priests and the old-style Julian calendar, 13 days behind Western religious holidays. Outside of the western region of Galicia, most Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians, also abiding by the Julian calendar, but affiliated with Constantiple rather than in communion with Rome.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church emerged in 1596, when a part of the Orthodox Church recognised the supremacy of the Pope. Later, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) became mostly localised in the Western Ukraine, becoming one of the markers of the national identity for the region’s population during Austrian, Polish and Soviet rule.
Currently, Kyiv is the center of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, under the jurisdiction of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Galicia, and it is present in many regions of the country, though Galicia, where Lviv is, still remains its bulwark. It also has a strong presence among the Ukrainian diaspora, especially in parts of Canada, the United States, and Australia.
Translated by Vitalii Holich
Photos by Lviv City Council and Shevchenkivskyi Grove Museum
Lviv Now is an English-language website for Lviv, Ukraine’s «tech-friendly cultural hub.» It is produced by Tvoe Misto («Your City») media-hub, which also hosts regular problem-solving public forums to benefit the city and its people.