The Ukrainian community came together in Welwyn Garden City to celebrate Christmas traditions and raise money for Ukraine.

The event took place on Sunday, November 19 at the United Reformed Church, and raised £1,524 for the Ukrainian Medical Appeal.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Mayor Cllr Pankit Shah was among the attendeesMayor Cllr Pankit Shah was among the attendees (Image: Courtesy of Michael Siewniak)

More than 200 guests attended, both Ukrainian and English, with some travelling from as far as Cambridge, St Albans, Canterbury, Hatfield, Ware, Hertford, Anstey, Broxbourne and Buntingford.

The hall was decorated in bold and bright colours, and guests listened to authentic Ukrainian carols and live traditional dancing music performed on the violin and cello by Sofiia and Solomiia Obertas.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Guests dressed up in traditional Ukrainian costumeGuests dressed up in traditional Ukrainian costume (Image: Courtesy of Michal Siewniak)

Children from the Ukrainian Scout Organisation also performed poems and songs, and English guests learnt to speak some phrases in Ukrainian and explored the country's winter holiday traditions.

Guests could purchase handmade Christmas gifts on market stalls and a variety of seasonal pastries.

Meanwhile a raffle raised £250, and 12 winners received handmade Christmas baubles and decorations.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Children took part in the traditional Ukrainian festivitiesChildren took part in the traditional Ukrainian festivities (Image: Courtesy of Michal Siewniak)

The event was planned and organised by Mariana Buchko. Her English host Peter Dawson - a renowned cellist - gave a "rousing and emotional" performance of the Ukrainian national anthem.

Yaroslava Levchuk, Sofiia and Solomiia Obertas and Khrystyna Kozub researched Ukrainian folk culture to help plan the event.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Guests gathered in the hall at United Reformed Church in Welwyn Garden CityGuests gathered in the hall at United Reformed Church in Welwyn Garden City (Image: Courtesy of Michal Siewniak)

The organisers thanked the United Reformed Church and all councillors who attended from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council - especially Cllr Michal Siewniak and the Mayor Cllr Pankit Shah, as well as Carmen Dillon from the Welwyn Hatfield Community Voluntary Service.


They also said a "huge thank you" to county councillor Paul Zukowskyj, whose £200 Locality Budget Scheme helped to pay for refreshments and venue hire costs.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Guests celebrated a traditional Ukrainian ChristmasGuests celebrated a traditional Ukrainian Christmas (Image: Courtesy of Michal Siewniak)

A spokesperson for Welwyn Hatfield's Ukrainian community said: "It was a good chance for children and adults to experience a positive Christmas mood, to feel united and enriched with new knowledge.

"We would also like to thank Daria Diak, Lidiia Rimaniuk, Victoria and all volunteers who helped on the day and cooked the delicious food, which was very eagerly enjoyed by one and all.

"Thank you to everyone who came and supported this wonderful event. It was fantastic!"