Today was “Трійця”-or Trinity Day- the Pentecost celebration of the Eastern Orthodox faith. It is a public holiday in Ukraine and Kyivans are enjoying a long weekend.
To celebrate, I went with some friends to an Orthodox church here in Kyiv. It was a very long mass in a very hot room, but the singing and chanting were beautiful, as was the icon covered interior.
Perhaps one of the most interesting traditions is to bring bouquets of herbs and wildflowers to be blessed during mass. Bundles of mint, reeds and flowers were for sale all over the city. My friends tell met that this tradition comes from the pagan tradition of celebrating the solstice.