My Rare One and I celebrated Ukrainian Christmas Eve last night. Long-time readers may recall that My Rare One is a pureblooded Ukrainian-Canadian. All four of her grandparents came straight from the Ukraine in the early 20th century to farm the Canadian prairies. Now, me, I don't have a single drop of Ukrainian blood. But I am a major Ukrainian wannabe.
Although my culinary skills do not extend to preparing the traditional twelve meatless dishes that Ukrainians are supposed to eat on Christmas Eve, I did manage to make homemade borscht and buy some perogies and lemon meringue pie. Meh, close enough!
I gave My Rare One a copy of this lovely artwork for her annual Ukrainian-themed Christmas gift --
This is the Slavic Earth Goddess Mokosh, as interpreted by the renowned artist and scholar of the Divine Feminine, Thalia Took of Amused Grace. To paraphrase Thalia's description of this Goddess on her website --
Mokosh was a member of the old pantheon of Kiev, where She had a statue in Her honour. She is associated with water and weaving. A traditional embroidery pattern (depicting a woman between two horsemen) is said to depict Her. Mokosh is sometimes shown in such embroideries with upraised arms holding a bird in each hand.
Mokosh is wearing a sarafan, a traditional cone-shaped dress, over an embroidered blouse with horsemen on the sleeves and a Ukrainian flower crown or vinok on Her head. The vinok has wheat, poppies (which traditionally grew as a weed in the wheat fields of the steppes), and flax flowers which allude to Mokosh's role as Weaving Goddess. The blue drops of Her earrings and necklace, as well as the long flowing blue ribbons, are symbolic of water.
The background is based on Slavic folk paintings. Her name is in Cyrillic lettering in the manner of an icon.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate today!