The annual Diplomatic Christmas fair took place in Odessa
On December 11, the Charity Diplomatic Christmas Fair was held in the City Garden of Odessa. Every year the diplomatic missions present in Odessa organised stands to offer their national food and gifts.
Notwithstanding the bad weather of last weeks, Odessa welcome its annual Diplomatic Christmas market with an unexpected sunny day. Odessans gathered in the city garden on Deribasovskaya, the arterial street of social life in Odessa, to meet the international open-air party and enjoy the foreign tastes and music for one day.
The opening ceremony was attended by the general and honorary consuls, the Odessa mayor and the head of regional administration. This event is long awaited, because it is the moment when Odessa residents meet their diplomatic community and can taste the cuisine of the countries of the world and buy original Christmas gifts. This year, in the rotunda of the City Garden, a stage was prepared for the performance of national dances and musical groups.
The foreign countries present with their flags were: Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam and the European Mission for Border Assistance to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).
Some of the nicest moments of the happening. Bulgaria welcomed the visitors with a small orchestra in front of its stand and offered specialties from Bessarabia, the southern region of Ukraine between Moldova and Romania, with a considerable presence of Bulgarian origin residents. Germany offered the typical Christmas mulled wine with spices, delicious Christmass sweets. France poured the new wine production by its French honorary consul and offered the famous Bouillabaisse soup. Lithuania sold the most original hedgehog-shape Christmas cake and Lithuanian Honey Liqueur. In the Romanian stand you could taste their mamaliga with sausages. Norway offered to try their traditional liquor and low-salted salmon. In the Armenian stand one can taste meat delicacies and handmade sweets. South Africa’s stand gleamed of its coloured African garments and paintings. But, the most relevant presence was the last arrival in the diplomatic community, Vietnam, which offered 2 stands to appreciate the recent appointment of its Honorary Consul in Odessa.
Following the Christmas tradition, all the consuls exchanged invitations to their stands to make toasts with their national drinks to the happy international relations and the progressive future of the city. In this friendly competition Armenia was, as usual, particularly generous with its Armenian cognac, challenged only by the Norwegian aquavit, offered by the Norway’s neighbouring stand.
The charity diplomatic Christmas fair has been held in Odessa since 2011. This one was the 10th edition, because in 2020 the event did not take place due to Covid-19 emergency.
Over the years of the event, medical equipment worth about two million uah was purchased for local hospitals. In early 2020, thanks to the Christmas Charity fair in 2019, the city infectious diseases hospital received three patient life monitors, a helium mattress with temperature retention, a medical aspirator and an inhaler for the pediatric ward.
The money received during this years’s fair will be used to purchase medical equipment for the KNP Children’s City Clinical Hospital No. 3.