What should I buy from Kiev?
Choosing the right memory is scrupulous work. Some people buy souvenirs for them in memory of the country they visited, others would like to present something as a gift to friends and relatives. To find something special and memorable, read our list of exclusive souvenirs from Ukraine.
In Ukraine, horilka was produced from the Zaporozhye Sich era (16th-18th centuries). The composition of a traditional drink is quite simple: a solution of ethyl alcohol in water, usually 40%. The main difference of vodka is that it uses pepper, so it burns (hority in Ukrainian) in the mouth and throughout the body. In addition to pepper, some recipes also contain honey. It gives the horilka a mild flavor and eliminates the smell of alcohol. It is recognized as the purest drink in the world, which is why it is so popular. Of course, horilka will adapt to any event and party.
Salo or pork fat is a product that, mainly, is associated with Ukraine. Once you try it with rye bread or pickles, you will be surprised by the mild taste and will definitely consider buying it on the way back home.
Petrikivka Painting is an art that marvels. This popular painting was born in the small town of Petrikivka, in the Dnieper region. When you visit the country, you can buy plates, spoons, cups, chests or other decorative items adorned with Petrikivka paint. It will be a wonderful gift for friends or relatives. The painting technique is protected by UNESCO.
The Pysanka or painted Easter egg is an ancient Ukrainian symbol, which, since pagan times, was considered an attribute of the sun, life and love. The locals still appreciate the tradition and dedicate decoration to the professionals. Pysanka painting is a problematic work that requires patience and concentration, as well as knowledge of the images shown on the eggs. There are more than 100 symbolic drawings, derived from different regions of the country. It is not surprising that pysanka is a true masterpiece of arts and crafts.
Ukraine today is almost the only country that managed to bring the national costume element to a whole new level. A couple of years ago, embroidery was only a part of the old traditions, currently it is used happily by the Ukrainian youth in different variations. Whether created as a dress or a shirt, it is an exclusive and expensive gift that has a practical application. The most popular Ukrainian embroidery designer is Vita Kin; It has already conquered the most elegant exhibition halls in Paris and the weeks of global fashion.
Vinok, or a wreath of flowers, is also part of the Ukrainian national costume that has extended its influence far beyond the traditional dimension. There are colorful elements with ribbons, as well as impressive floral wreaths. Although the complete Ukrainian crown should be made of 12 flowers: yarrow, cornflower, chamomile, cherry blossom, peony, chrysanthemums and others, with such a wide variety, everyone will find an ideal option for a memory.
Cake from Kiev
If you have already visited Kiev, you must definitely have heard or tasted the legendary Kiev cake. It is the most delicious and authentic souvenir to bring from Ukraine. Tourists and locals, and those from nearby cities, drink some of this cake to pamper their family. It is unique and can be purchased at Roshen stores that are spread throughout the capital.
Sopilka is one of the oldest musical instruments of Ukraine, known since the princely era. It is usually created from wood, it has up to 10 finger holes in its body. Recently there has been a revival of the Ukrainian ethnic instrument in the local art scene. The biggest example is a prominent electronic band called Onuka, which combines contemporary rhythms with folk music. If you know any music lover, a sopilka will serve as a good souvenir for him or her. By the way, it is quite easy to learn to play.
Didukh is a true Christmas cult in Ukraine, which is also called kolyada. It is a symbol of the nation’s harvest, well-being, wealth and spiritual life. Nowadays it is simplified to a small bouquet of ears, several dried herbs and flowers that give a sensation of mystery and of the near vacations. It is usually in the living room of the house before Christmas and stays there until January 19, the day of Kievan Rus Epiphany.
For many centuries, the Bulawa symbolized power and authority. It was a Cossack weapon, a mace with crushing action. It has a wooden or metal handle and a ball-shaped head that gives one the chance to inflict damage on the soldiers. Now, the leaders, ambitious and strong people, are presented as an inalienable element of the ancient Ukrainian culture. In addition, the club is the official symbol of presidential power in Ukraine; the president receives it at the inauguration.