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The Railway Station at the beginning of the 20th  century. Kiev
Wednesday, 05 October 2022


Culture news > Holiday Classic From Ukraine – Carol of the Bells – Goes Clay

Kyiv, December 28, 2011. A famous Ukrainian folk singer Oleg Skrypka performed a renewed version of the winter holiday classic Carol of the Bells originally composed by Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych. This new rendition of the world renowned tune became a soundtrack for the freshly released Ukrainian animation film Shchedryk.

Shchedryk tells a story of a boy who discovers Ukrainian winter holiday traditions. The film depicts the adventures of a little boy who takes on the mission to protect a star that symbolizes the holiday. He carries the star while a team of people in black try to destroy all the preparations for the holiday.

Eventually the boy releases the star. This is the moment when the star itself becomes a guardian of the holiday. It protects a certain area in the middle of the city that immediately reminds the viewer of a classic snowball. The team of the holiday haters cannot get through the protected area where the classic Ukrainian winter holiday traditions are played out.

Inside the ball women sing carols and cook holiday food, children play games, and everyone is dressed colorfully and creatively. Later on, the residents of the city join the celebrations in the ball. Once the team of people in black also joins the celebration their dull, reserved clothes transform into bright festive garments.

Shchedryk was made in 3D. Olexandr Lirnyk authored the fairytale that became the basis for the script, while director Stepan Koval was responsible for the actual production of the clay animation. Some 150 kilogram (330 pounds) of clay and 100 kilogram (220 pounds) of salt were used to create the nearly 7 minute long film.

The soundtrack for Shchedryk is Carol of the Bells – possibly the most known Ukrainian song of all time. The tune was first performed nearly a century ago – in 1916 in Kyiv. Carnegie Hall became the first venue in the USA where Carol of the Bells (original Ukrainian title – Shchedryk) was performed. The presentation took place on October 5, 1921. The song was translated in English in 1936.

The song Shchedryk (Carol of the Bells) has become an international sensation, used as a soundtrack to Harry Potter, Home Alone, and South Park. Barenaked Ladies and Savatage created rock versions of the song, while DJ Demonix mixed the song in techno dance style making it a hit of the electronic underground.

According to the WNU