Feast of Jordan at the Ukrainian Village Next Week


The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village opens for one special day in winter—for the Feast of Jordan! You don’t want to miss out on this annual event at the UCHV, featuring traditional church services, water blessings, tasty Ukrainian food and free wagon rides!

Visit the Village on Tuesday, Jan. 19 to celebrate a major holy day in the Ukrainian church calendar —Iordan-Feast of Jordan. Iordan, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, is observed annually at the end of the Ukrainian Christmas season. Iordan commemorates the baptism of Christ with a liturgy that included the blessing of water (vodokhreshchennia or vodosviachennia), as well as clergy visiting pioneers to bless their homes with holy water.

The Ukrainian Village will be open to public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.) for this one-day event. Liturgies will take place in three historical churches:

  • Nicholas Russo-Greek Orthodox church at 9:30 a.m.;
  • Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox church at 9:30 a.m.; and
  • Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic church at 10 a.m.

The variation in start times is at the request of clergy to allow all parishioners to meet at 11:30 a.m. for a water blessing ceremony in front of an ice cross.

Bring a glass jar!


Following the church services, visitors are invited to attend an outdoor water blessing ceremony in front of an ice cross and witness the clergy blessing the water. The highlight of this ceremony is the priest making the sign of the cross in the water with a triple-pronged candle (trysvichnyk).

After the water is blessed, visitors can collect a small amount of holy water to take home. After the ceremony, follow the clergy as they bless a number of historic homes at this open-air museum.

Jump over the smoke!


In addition to free wagon rides (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to a number of historical buildings, experience the ritualistic burning of the didukh.

Learn why the final sheaf of wheat, oats, barley or buckwheat collected during the fall harvest was special by being placed in the home on Christmas Eve, and then burnt in the yard on Iordan.

Try some festive foods!

Enjoy food service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with traditional Ukrainian fare from the Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society. The menu for this event includes: kutia (boiled wheat with honey and poppyseed), borshch (beet soup), cucumber salad, pyrohy (perogies), nalysnyky (cheese filled crepes), and smoked pork shoulder roast. Coffee and tea will also be available in the morning beginning at 9 a.m.

The Details

When: Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.)

Admission: for Iordan is $6 for adults and youth (7 – 17) and $5 for seniors,. Children six and under are admitted free. Admission is also free for those with a current Experience Alberta’s History Pass or Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society membership card.

About the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village: 

Operated by Alberta Culture and Tourism, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is located 25 minutes east of Edmonton on Highway 16. Apart from Iordan, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is closed until May 21, 2016.

Need more info? Visit the website or call 780-662-3640 (dial 310-0000 for toll-free access in Alberta)

For information on all of Alberta’s historic sites and museums, visit www.culture.alberta.ca.

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