Yavorivsky zabavky: Secrets of traditional Ukrainian toys

17:41 Dec. 10, 2016

Secrets of traditional Ukrainian toys

Yavorivsky zabavky (UNIAN)

More than a thousand of Yavorivsky zabavky will be used to adorn the main Christmas spruce

This year, these decorations as Yavorivsky zabavky will predominate on the main Christmas tree of Ukraine. 

Yavorivski zabavki are national toys, which are made of aspen; historically, Ukrainians thought that this type of wood can drive away all evil forces.

Toys are painted with special technique, ‘verbivka', which recreates images of flowers and leaves in the form of willow needles. The toy-making method is older than 400 years.



Genuine Yavorivska zabavka is painted with three colors – green, red and blue. At the beginning of the 20 century, toy makers started to use yellow color. Each shade has a symbolic meaning: red represents berries and fruit, green – grass and leaves, blue embodies sky and water, and yellow is for sun (yellow was added in the 20th century).


The traditional toy originates from the city of Yavoriv in Western Ukraine. Now, this Ukrainian decoration is experiencing rebirth, as many makers are inspired by Yavorivska zabavka. 

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