Foreign Ministry launches English-language project on Shchedryk


The Foreign Ministry has launched a new digital project on how Ukrainian Shchedryk became a world famous hit Carol of the Bells.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a new digital project for foreign audiences on the Christmas hit Carol of the Bells: a Christmas carol known and loved on all continents. This is the Christmas story that Ukraine gave to the world, ”informs the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the section of the official site of Ukraine devoted to Shchedryk, foreigners will find out about the ancient origins of Christmas carol, the brilliant Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych, the choir world tour led by conductor Oleksandr Koshyts and cultural diplomacy during the struggle for Ukrainian independence. .

The project is presented in the form of a chronology from pre-Christian times to the present day. Authors and experts paid special attention to the concert tour of the Ukrainian choir, thanks to which Shchedryk gained popularity in Europe and America. One can also learn how Shchedryk came to be a symbol of Christmas in the United States, why the Christmas carol came to be known as Carol of the Bells, and how he united the world.

Unique material and photos from Ukrainian, European and American archives are provided, as well as videos of different versions of the performance of Shchedryk – NBA basketball players, who “played” the tune using balls, to famous bands and musicians.

The project was created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine with the support of the British Embassy in Ukraine. The design of the project narrative, research and texts were created by Tina Peresunko, founder of the NGO “Leontovych Institute”. The visual identity was designed by Maksym Shapoval. PlusOne Social Impact came up with a creative idea and its implementation.

Shchedryk is the Ukrainian melody that has become a symbol of Christmas celebrations around the world. He is best known in the English version of Carol of the Bells.

Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych turned a simple folk melody into a world masterpiece. Leontovych’s Shchedryk was played for the first time 105 years ago, in December 1916, and within a few years became an instrument of Ukrainian diplomacy of the time and was heard in the best concert halls of Czechoslovakia, from Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain. Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Shchedryk’s highly successful performance on the Carnegie Hall stage in New York City. After that, the melody world tour continued to Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba and Canada.


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