Ukrainian Christmas Tradition of Vertep and Shopka

Ukrainian Christmas Tradition of Vertep and Shopka

Ukraine has a rich history of Christmas traditions, with the Vertep tradition of the nativity play being among the most important.

Ukraine Vertep Nativity

Vertep is the Ukrainian tradition of the nativity story presented using a puppet theater. The Ukrainian word Vertep is rooted in the Old Slavonic word for cave.

The vertep (nativity) is traditionally housed in a shopka (from the Polish for box) and travels from house to house within a village. The performance of the Vertep would take place with carols, and the second act would consist of a varied comedic portion.

Ukraine Nativity Bells