Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Because of the country's location its culture has been influenced by both Europe and Asia.
Over the centuries Ukrainian people have developed their own arts of music, theatre, and painting. Some Ukrainian artists and their masterpieces are famous not only in Ukraine but also all over the world.
Ukrainian music has a long history and covers diverse and multiple component elements of the music that is found in the Western and Eastern musical civilization.
Folk traditions have preserved to this day original songs, lyrical, humorous, and patriotic and others. «Kobza», «bandura», «sopilka» are among most famous national musical instruments. Artisan textile arts play an important role in Ukrainian culture, especially in Ukrainian wedding traditions.
Ukrainian embroidery, weaving, and lace-making are used in traditional folk dress and in traditional celebrations. Ukrainian embroidery varies depending on the region of origin, and the designs have a long history of motifs, compositions, choice of colors, and types of stitches. Use of color is very important and has roots in Ukrainian folklore.
The iconic embroidered shirt or blouse, the vyshyvanka, is the most recognizable part of Ukrainian national costume, and even has its own public celebration in May. For men, traditional dress also includes kozhukh, kontusz, żupan and sharovary. For women, traditional dress includes kozhushanka, ochipok for married women, and Ukrainian wreath for unmarried girls. Garments are made using elaborate structural design, complicated weaving techniques, extensive embroidery, and cutwork needlework.
Traditional dances are popular within Ukraine, many of which derive from rural Cossack villages. One Ukrainian style of dancing is called the kalyna. Both men and women participate in this type of dancing. Another, called the hopak is much more lively, and involves many fast-paced movements. Hence hopak as a dance is derived from hopak martial art of Cossacks.
Traditional Ukrainian wedding celebrations have many rituals that involve music and dancing, drinking and eating, and crowds of people.
Many significant Ukrainian holidays and events are based on the old Julian Calendar and so differ from their Gregorian counterparts. These include Christmas and New Year's Eve, both of which are highly important in Ukrainian culture. Social gatherings like Vechornytsi have a long history in Ukrainian culture, and so do traditional holidays like Ivan Kupala Day, Maslenitsa, Koledovanie and Malanka.
Numerous writers have contributed to the country's rich literary history such as Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko. Ukrainian origin on the father's side were the world-famous composers P. Tchaikovsky and S.Prokofiev.
Famous representatives of Ukrainian art were O. Vishnya, L. Ukrainka, N. Gogol, I. Repin, M. Lysenko, M. Bulgakov and many others.