Ukrainian Village: Processions

I have lived in several places in Chicago but I love Ukrainian Village best. It feels like a real neighborhood. Old houses, families that have been here for generations, a real sense of culture. St. Nicholas Catholic Cathedral seems to be the cultural and spiritual center of the neighborhood. I have written previously on the cathedral here, here and here. However, there are many churches in the area including Russian Orthodox church, Holy Trinity, designed by Louis Sullivan and Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church on the other side of Chicago avenue.

As a result, we run into processions of various sorts, religious and national, with little warning. It is simply marvelous. One time in early January, we encountered a midnight Christmas procession. People were carrying various religious artifacts and singing. It was surprising, since we don’t think about Julian calendar much in our Gregorian-biased world. There is nothing like coming home late one cold night to people in singing in the middle of the street. It was peaceful and beautiful. Every year since we keep hoping we’ll catch them again but so far it has not happened.

Another time at Easter, we awoke at 3am to what sounded like a brass band. There is something simply splendid waking up to a brass band in the middle of the night. And I say this with no irony. I love brass bands and regard the Tuba as my spirit animal (that is a tale for another post).
Then there was parade, in the daytime, for what seemed to be some Ukrainian National event. Unfortunately, I still don’t know what national holiday it was for, possibly independence. People were marching in their military uniforms or Sunday best. Some people even rode horses carrying various flags, including the Ukrainian flag. There was another brass band (huzzah!).
This year on what I think was Ukrainian Independence day, everyone hung up their blue and yellow flags. It was lovely. Sometimes, people will set up shrines to saints against buildings on the street.
I can’t wait for what happens next.

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