Flowers and Holidays in Ukraine Guide
Flowers Care/Flowers Guide/Ukrainian Traditions/Ukraine Holidays
Good Care Practices
- Only use a clean vase, as it is bacteria that kill off the flowers.
- Using either sharp scissors or a sharp knife remove a minimum of about 1 inch or 2-3 cm off the bottom of each stem, cutting in a diagonal way (This prevents the stem from sealing itself on the bottom of the vase). This will depend on the length of stem and size of the vase you are using of course.
- Fresh flowers may come with a sachet of flower preservative. If not then reputable florists have this for sale. Mix this up with approximately 1 liter of fresh lukewarm water, making sure that all the powder dissolves. Any unused solution can be kept in a sealed container to top up the vase over the following week. The use of lukewarm water is because it contains less oxygen that blocks the flower stems from absorbing water. It also encourages some flowers to open up.
- Remove any foliage that falls below the water line (leaves in water promotes bacterial growth).
- Keep flowers in a fresh and well-ventilated atmosphere, away from direct sunlight, drafts or heat sources such as radiators or TV.
- Check the water level daily and top up as required. Using any water that has the flower preservative mixed in it first.
- Remove fading flowers as they occur, this will also encourage any buds to open as well as stop bacteria.
- When you only have a few flowers remaining to transfer them to a smaller vase, cutting the stems if required. The best length to keep the stems straight is where the height of the vase is between half and two-thirds the length of the cut stem.
- If given an arrangement in green (Oasis) foam, make sure that the water-retaining foam is wet, you gently pour clean water into the center and back of the arrangement and the water level is checked daily. These arrangements will not last as long as flowers kept in the water though.
Bad Care Practices
- Cut the flowers with blunt scissors, pierce or smash the stems. This destroys the water vessels and thus inhibits the water uptake as well as giving the bacteria more surface area to multiple on and shorten the flower's life.
- Placing the vase in direct sunlight. This encourages bacteria to grow.
- Place the vase near fresh fruit. Ripening fruit gives off tiny amounts of the gas ethylene which prematurely ages most flowers.
- Using a metal Vase or putting copper pennies, bleach, lemonade or aspirin in with the flowers will do more harm than good.
- Do not mix Daffodils and Narcissi with any other flowers unless you have taken precautions. For they produce latex from their stems that are more commonly known as 'Daffodil slime' which shortens the life of other flowers. The precautions are either to use a particular bulb cut flower food or to place the daffodils for 12 hours in cold water after you have cut them before adding them to the vase. They will have had time to release all the latex from the bottom of the stem.
Care of bouquets
Take care when removing any packaging, especially cellophane. This often contains water, which the florist has added to keep the flowers fresh (in which case, you should pierce the packaging and drain the water into the sink).
If the flowers are tied, be careful not to cut the tie. They have been specially arranged and are ready to go straight in a vase - untying them may spoil the arrangement.
Cut the stems of the flowers - use a sharp knife if possible (scissors may crush the stem) and cut the stems at an angle, about 3/4" above the end.
Next, place the flowers in deep water for an hour prior to arranging them in a vase of clean water (with flower food, if available). This will ensure that the flowers last as long as possible.
Care of Roses
If a Rose head starts to "flop", wrap the stem in the paper to help straighten it, re-cut the stem and plunge into 2" of boiling water for a minute. Then place in deep, cold water. This should help revive it.
Care of flowers
Alstroemeria. A vase with alstroemeria should be washed as often as it is possible. Cut alstroemeria keeps freshness in average one and a half — two and a half weeks.
Carnations remain fresh about three weeks. It is necessary to cut carnations’ stalks regularly, without taking out from the drink of water, and delete the bottom leaves. The carnation feels well in 2-5 %-s' solution of sugar, needs spraying.
Gerberas don’t stay fresh very long, so the vase for gerberas should be washed carefully and some disinfectants and fertilizers for cut flowers should be added to the water. The stalk of a flower can be pierced above and below, or vertically to make an incision from below. Gerbera needs frequent changing of the water. The cut should continually be refreshed.
Irises. This flower lives for about two days; simultaneously other buds continue to open. Cut irises remain fresh in water from one to one and a half weeks.
Lilies are capable of pleasing an eye about one and a half weeks. The ends of stalks need to be split and placed in cold water. In the process of withering bottom flowers, on a stalk should be deleted.
Orchids keep freshness from a week for about one month.
Tulips become wilted quickly enough. But nevertheless, if the stalks of wilted flowers will be lowered into the hot water, it will help them to return freshness. Preliminary it is necessary to update cuts and wrap them in a paper: it will help to straighten stalks. A branch of juniper, a cypress, a thuja will contribute to prolonging tulips’ life.
Freesias To keep the smell of the plant it is placed into a cellophane package or turn into a parchment paper. The ends of stalks need to be cut a little before putting flowers into the water. Freesias quickly fade in the warm room. Freesias keep freshness longer if there is some sugar; also the flowers could be placed into the cold room for nighttime. Freesias need spraying.
Chrysanthemums keep freshness and brightness excellently. These cut flowers demand the bare leaving: regular changing of the water and removal of all leaves from the bottom part of the stalk.
Why We Do Not Sell a Dozen Flowers Here?
In Ukraine, it is a custom that an odd number of flowers is given for any occasion including a romantic one. It is quite traditional to send eleven roses vs. the dozen. Any odd number of flowers works; of course the more, the better. The even number of flowers is a sign of bad luck or sorrow and is taken to viewings, funerals, and cemeteries.
Meaning of Flowers
It is true that through flower symbolism we can express what we want to say (and may not be able to speak out loud). We would like to provide you with more information on the most popular flowers, including the one you can order and have delivered via our online store.
Roses symbolize love, passion, perfection. The rose was named for the Latin word rosa which means red. It has been a symbol of love since ancient times. Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, roses also represent confidentiality. Color meanings of roses are varied: Red means to love and passion. Pink – Happiness. White - purity, innocence. Yellow – Friendship.
Tulips are the real symbol of the spring and the summer. A tulip bouquet represents elegance and grace. The sweeping bow of the tulip may be one of its most alluring charms, and it is sure to brighten anyone’s day! Tulips stand for a perfect lover, luck, and fame. The word "tulip" is a Latinized version of the Persian word “dual band” (turban), so called because of the flower’s resemblance to a turban.
Carnations mean innocence, faithfulness, pure love, and good luck. These lovely flowers have a lasting quality and are often handed out on Mother's Day to symbolize the purity and strength of motherhood. White carnations suggest pure love and good luck, light red symbolizes admiration; dark red represents deep love and affection. Pink carnations are the symbol of a mother’s endless love.
Lilies represent Majesty, wealth, pride, innocence, and purity. Lilies are the right flowers if you want to say “you’ve made my life complete.” These flowers will help you create an impressive statement of pure elegance as well as show and share your happiness. The regal white lily symbolizes the elements of chastity and virtue. Tiger lilies represent wealth and pride. Make sure to send a floral bouquet of tiger lilies if you wish someone happiness and prosperity in all shades of life.
Irises are different from all other flowers as they appear spring and can remain fresh for several days. Traditionally, this graceful flower has been chosen to convey the essence of “my compliments”. Compliment someone today by sending them a bouquet of irises.
Gerbera Daisies are great when you want to send a gift of cheer. Distinguished by large flower heads that closely resemble those of sunflowers, gerbera daisies come in a vibrant rainbow of colors. Bright pink, snow white, sunny yellow, and ruby red are just a few of the gorgeous colors that these happy flowers boast.
Orchids are long-lasting and particularly elegant flowers, making them the perfect gift for many occasions. Their graceful appearance draws immediate attention, and their reputation as an exotic and unusual flower evokes a sense of refinement and innocence. With many orchid varieties to choose from and the meanings of orchids being so special, you are sure to find one that can express the right message, whether it be Thank You, Happy Anniversary, Congrats on Your Promotion, or anything in between.
Ukrainian Traditions and Customs
There are quite a few different traditions, customs and individual particularities of social behavior in every country. We would like to provide you with an overview of the most important ones so they will help you overcome the cross-cultural barriers and socialize with ease.
Ukraine is a European country (though not the member of the European Union yet), which makes the social etiquette more or less predictable. Nevertheless, the "old world" traditions and beliefs are very strong in Ukraine, having a unique impact on the mentality of people and the etiquette. You will find that some Ukraine customs are compatible with those of European and North American countries. However, some of them would consider irrational or incomprehensible. They are neither "good" nor "evil". They just a part of another culture.
You know the first rule already – an odd number of flowers only.
Never shake hands, give keys or anything else in the doorway. It may bring misfortune to your host or guest.
When you are invited to visit somebody’s house, usually, you are expected to bring a small gift with you. It is very common in Ukraine to bring gifts when visiting. It can be sweets, a bottle of wine or a flower bouquet. If there is a small child in the household, you may want to bring a little gift for him/her.
Never leave an empty bottle on the table, but if a bottle is open - drink up.
Try to sit between two people with the same name and make a wish. It is supposed to come right.
Don't be alarmed when somebody spits three times over his/her left shoulder or sits on his luggage before going on a trip.
Take off your gloves when shaking hands.
Be prepared to remove your shoes upon entering the home. You will be given a pair of slippers (take) to help keep the dwelling clean.
When entering or exiting a vehicle the man steps out first so as to offer his hand to a woman whom he is accompanying.
When using public transportation, give up your seat to mothers with children, elderly or handicapped. People will admire you.
Be prepared to toast at dinners, etc. Be careful, the vodka can catch up with you.
When visiting the Orthodox churches, women should cover their heads with scarves, and men must take off their hats.
Don't put your thumb between your first two fingers. It is a vulgar gesture.
Don't forget your lady - friend's mother and daughter (if any) on the important holidays. Sending a bouquet or a single rose to your lady - friend's mother shows great class and is the act of a real gentleman.
January 1 - New Year. This is everybody's favorite holiday. Decorating the Christmas tree, going to the New Year's Eve party, giving/receiving gifts, - Ukrainians love all this holiday commotion and impatiently wait for the New Year's Eve to come.
January 7 - Orthodox Christmas. A great deal of old Ukrainian customs that go back to centuries ago is related to Christmas. These include fortune telling, singing Christmas carols, cooking traditional Ukrainian Christmas dishes and attending church service.
February 14 -Valentine's Day. All European and American traditions apply
March 8 - The International Women's Day. This day is hugely popular among women in Ukraine as they receive flowers and chocolates from the men they know.
Easter Day comes according to the lunar calendar. It could fall on any Sunday in April or May and is full of lovely traditions. Eggs are boiled and then painted in different colors. Very special sweet Easter bread is baked, full of raisins and other culinary wonders. Often people will take food like eggs and bread to church to have it blessed by a priest.
May 1 - Labor Day. A traditional Soviet-era holiday that is celebrated even now. In the old times, it was marked by numerous parades. Nowadays it's just a good occasion to have another day off and spend it with family and friends outdoors. Some people attend public performances and concerts; the others prefer to have a picnic in the woods.
May 9 - Victory Day. This is the day when people of Ukraine and other former Soviet Union republics celebrate the victory over fascist Germany in 1945 and remember the 20 million of Soviet people who put their lives on the altar of peace. The war took a life of nearly every 6th Ukrainian citizen. Celebrations include military parade and fireworks.
Saint Trinity Day.
June 28 - The Constitution Day. This holiday commemorates the adoption of the Ukrainian constitution in 1996.
August 24 - Independence Day. This holiday is dedicated to the proclamation of Ukrainian independence from the USSR in 1991. Large public performances, concerts, and festivals and military parades are held on this day.
We hope this information was useful and interesting for you!