Friday, April 14, 2006


Easter can be a problematic holiday for those souls trying to juggle multiple timezones and local stat holidays. To this day Sheena has never understood the method by which the dates are calculated. Only that it has something to do with full moons, vernal equinox and the length of a bunny rabbit's shadow. Americans don't get this as an official holiday, meaning that it is a stress day for some Canadians trying to reconcile an appropriate balance of "off day don't check email" and "but the deadline is close of business on Friday".

So, in keeping with my half Ukrainian heritage, let us just say that "Easter Blows".

The tradition of "Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter Egg Painting) predates the Christian tradition by centuries. Symbolizing fertility, rebirth, life from dormancy, it evolved into a natural symbol of spring and resurrection as Christianity was adopted in the Ukraine 988 AD.

The entire process of cleaning, designing and dyeing the eggs is a lengthy and involved process. Success requires attention to detail, precision and a light touch in order to not break the delicate shells. The multi-layered colourful patterns are achieved by covering the egg with thin wax lines, dyeing it in progressively darker shades, and applying the next pattern phase by protecting the lighter sections with the wax threads.

Now Sheena has done this with moderate success. What most of the online sites don't tell you, however, is that it all starts with a blown-out egg. Pinpricks at both ends, and a gentle but steady blow will in fact force the yolky contents out through the teeny-tiny opening.

Unsuccessful egg-blowing, caused by a weakened shell, or careless technique, can be somewhat embarassing.

For Sheena, her first pysanky-making experience was thus predicated by the issue of knowingly putting her lips on the too-be-blown egg. "But where do eggs come from". "A chicken's bum". "Ewww. Grosss". "Don't worry, they're washed".

Of course the world's most famous Pysanky resides in Vegreville, Alberta. I remember look up at it, in awe. Wondering. Who had the strength and force in their lungs to blow hard enough to clean out that egg? Still have never discovered the answer to that question. But I figure there's a good chance it was one of these guys.


At 2:07 PM, Blogger K-Dough said...

Dobry dania:

I, also, am half a Ukie sandwich.
I also love anything fried in pig fat, made of dough, lard, cheese, carbs and starch.



At 4:36 AM, Blogger Earl Butz said...

Have you seen the world's largest pyrogy at Glendon, Alberta?

Or the world's largest koobasa at Mundare, Alberta?

Or the world's largest cabbage roll at....

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Sheena said...

No, Mr. Butz in fact I have not seen any of those landmarks. I have taken offense to the aggression with which the Albertans have co-opted the Ukrainain-Canadian large food item monument movement. We 'Pegger Ukes think they're all just big show-offs.


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