Saturday, 7 January 2017

Happy Ukrainian Christmas!

Under the old Julian calendar used by the Orthodox Christian Church, today is Christmas Day! But on the Canadian prairies, we simply call it Ukrainian Christmas because Ukrainians are the single largest group who mark the occasion here.

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!

42 comments:

Marie Smith said...

Merry Christmas to you and your Rare One. Such a wonderful heritage to celebrate and be proud of...

Jeanne said...

Beautiful design! Merry Christmas!

DEZMOND said...

It's Christmas here as well, we'd never ever call it Ukrainian, it's simply Orthodox, celebrated everywhere, from Russia and Russian countries, to Serbia, Balkans and even parts of Africa :)
Happy Christmas to your missus, Debs!

AntiquityTravelers said...

Followed the link - what an amazing site! My Mom's family is Ukrainian - settling in farm country in the US (Nebraska). Although they don't keep any of the old country traditions - many of them were stopped during WWII as traditional Germans and Russians (Ukrainian fell into this description) were afraid of seeming unpatriotic and thus potentially sent to camps. They stopped speaking the language as well, although my grandmother always had an accent. I love this artwork - it is beautiful. I wish I knew more about this side of my heritage!

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow you get to celebrate Christmas twice a year then? Sounds good to me. Happy Christmas to you both.

Kay G. said...

http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/ukraine.shtml

Goodness, look at that link I gave you above.
One of the things, it said that the eve before they do not start eating until they see the first star. That is lovely.

bj said...

I know nothing of any of this but I sure love the colorful gift you gave to her.

The Happy Whisk said...

My mom is half Ukraine and she keeps her stuff up until the end of this week. She calls it Little Christmas but I don't know if that's the same thing or the same reason.

Either way, your food sounds great. I love me some pierogies!!!!!

Ol'Buzzard said...

Were you visited by the star?
the Ol'Buzzard

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Ah, time for perogies to enjoy.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Ol'Buzzard -- No, only in our imaginations! But in the past, when we would go out to a local Ukrainian restaurant to eat the 12 meatless dishes, we'd be visited by the star then!

Willym said...

May you and your rare one have a blessed Ortho Christmas. Love the design - very Ballet Russes!

CraveCute said...

Sounds fun! That artwork is fabulous!

Linda Wildenstein said...

this is so beautiful and your Slavic Christmas is so tender and dear. The Goddess is just gorgeous. Merry Day after Christmas to you and Rare One. xoxo Oma Linda

Adam said...

I think you recall of you saying this last year as well.

I have one Ukrainian girl in my blog circle. She mentions this as well though she does a little xmas on the 25th too

Sarah said...

It was interesting to know about Eastern Orthodox celebrate Christmas this time of year. I never knew that.

Birdie said...

My aunt by marriage is Ukrainian. And the food alone makes me a Ukrainian wannabe.

likeschocolate said...

Lovely artwork!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Debra, Hope you and the Rare One had a fabulous Ukranian Christmas! I'm also an admirer of the intricate artwork!

Happy New Year!

Julie

Davoh said...

O. As an Australian born,and four generations bred, am struggling to find the 'best' words to wish you and yours at this "Change of Seasons"

Perhaps, since have heard that it's a bit chilly on your side of this planet - believe in the sharing of Old Sol.

He will be back your way soon.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I myself have not one drop of Ukrainian blood in me either - but give me a big ol jar of kutia and I am one happy girl! :)

bj said...

Thanks for coming by and liking my chairs..:) Have a sweet Sunday.....

Leeanna Henderson said...

Beautiful! So cool. I have only German and Nordic blood. My grandfather on my mother's side is German/Danish. My Grandmother on my mother's side is pure Norwegen. My Father's side of the family are all German/Italian.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Sweet post and so interesting. Here's to a brand new year!

Missy George said...

Merry Christmas to you and your rare one..Thanks for the educational post..I learned something..Love the artwork..Lovely gift.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

What a lovely and thoughtful gift. Growing up in Alaska we got to celebrate Russian Christmas on Jan. 6 - great experiences for a young child.

Miss Val's Creations said...

The artwork is stunning! I love a colorful culture. It must be fun to learn about all the traditions.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Very cool! That is such a great gift. The most amazing man in the world is 1/4 Ukrainian (his maternal grandmother). His grandma (from what he's told me) used to cook and bake the most amazing things...like perogies, which we both love.

Jim said...

Merry Christmas to you both, Debra!
I remember back in the 60's when my brother-in-law, Jim, was at our house making perogies for us all.
We were spellbound as he proceeded to throw a few on the wall to see if they would stick!! when they did, off to the pot they went.
They were delicious.

Melancholy and Menace said...

Oh! Happy Ukrainian Christmas to you, too :)

That image is gorgeous ♥

Magic Love Crow said...

Mom and I love this post! Thanks Debra! Happy Ukrainian Christmas to you and your Rare One :) The art piece you got for your Rare One is Stunning! Truly beautiful!

bill lisleman said...

I heard about this on news this year. I don't recall every hearing about it in the past (??). Way back when air travel was exciting and enjoyable I went to Greece. We had just celebrated Easter but on the first weekend I was there, they celebrated Easter. I should have claimed two chocolate bunnies that year but I didn't. Missed opportunity.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

It strikes me how similar her dress is to the background, and yet she takes prominence. The whole thing is very cool. I have a good amount of Russian blood in me, so I appreciate learning about this lovely goddess. Thank you.

Cheryl said...

I hope you and your Rare One had a wonderful Ukrainian Christmas. It sounds like a lovely holiday. Gifts and food...I am a fan.

Twelve meatless dishes is interesting. As I have never heard of this before, I am eager to Google it and find out more about Ukrainian food. I am familiar with borscht but never actually had any.

The artwork is beautiful!

Susan said...

I'm all for any good reason to celebrate with good food. And beautiful artwork.

Rosemary said...

I like borscht,lemon meringue too but have never tried perogies - the artwork you gave to your Rare One is lovely.

Jono said...

Ukrainian culture is alive and well just across the border in Thunder Bay. I was very tempted to buy one of Hunky Bill's perogie makers from the TV add, but can just go online now.

Riot Kitty said...

Ahhhh, I miss pierogies!!! Celiac sucks. I love Ukrainian food and art. Thank you for the history here!

Fundy Blue said...

Mokosh is new and lovely to me, Debra. I'm fascinated by all the symbolism imbedded in her lovely depiction! I'm sure your loved one appreciated such a thoughtful gift!

The Captain said...

I didn't know that. We don't have (m)any Ukrainians around here.

JACKIESUE said...

I remember you celebrating it last year thinking it reminded me of the Czech's..and I love love that painting..

Lynn said...

What a lovely celebration!