Vote Daily
Home » Russian Culture

Ancient Fortune-Telling Practices Help Ukrainian Women Predict Love

23. December 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

Svyatka, the two weeks of winter holidays between Christmas Eve (January 6th in Ukraine) and Epiphany (January 19th), is a special time when Ukrainian men and women relax with family and friends and enjoy the holiday season. One ancient tradition that takes place during Svyatka is Christmas divination.


Though men and women of all ages try to see their future during Svyatka, fortune-telling is most popular among young, single women because they hope to learn more about their future husbands. What will he look like? What is his name? When will we get married? Here are a few ways single Ukrainian women try to learn their romantic futures. Will your future bride see you?


Candle Wax Fortune-Telling

Ladies melt white candles in a bowl, add some cold water, and analyze the shapes that appear. The shapes are said to predict a lady’s future. If a woman sees a house, she will soon have her own household. A ring or candle shape predicts an upcoming wedding, while wax settled at the bottom of the bowl indicates a long maidenhood. Trees with upward branches mean joy is in the future, while trees with downward branches foretell sadness and depression.



Candle and Mirror Fortune-Telling

A little before midnight, a lady places a candle and a mirror on a table. The lady stares intently into the mirror and at the stroke of midnight she will see a man looking over her shoulder. This man is the lady’s future husband.



Vareniki Fortune-Telling

A cook bakes a series of fortune-telling objects into vareniki (stuffed dumplings). A group of women then eat the vareniki, carefully watching for one of the objects of divination. If a lady finds a coin there is money and wealth in her future. A ring, of course, means marriage. Tomatoes foretell love, while a boy leaf predicts job or fame. A thread predicts future travel.



Shadow Fortune-Telling

Ladies crumple a large sheet of newspaper, place it on a plate, and light the paper on fire. Once the flame dies out, ladies place a lit candle next to the plate and look at the shadow the charred newspaper casts on the wall. Like the shapes made by candle wax, the shadow shapes are said to predict a lady’s future.


The above fortune-telling practices are just 4 ways Ukrainian women attempt to see their romantic futures. Want to learn more about Ukraine’s ancient fortune-telling traditions? Click here!