Jean Jury with student at a pysanky workshop.

Ancient art of the Ukrainian Easter egg

One of B.C.’s pre-eminent Ukrainian Easter egg artists, Jean Jury, will be conducting two workshops on the ancient art form in the time leading up to Easter.  The workshops, to be held in Abbotsford, are sponsored by the Fraser Valley Ukrainian Cultural Society (FVUCS).

The intricate art work involved in the painting of the pysanky has for centuries been associated with Ukrainian artistry.

“The increasingly sophisticated and complex designs of today’s pysanky, or Easter eggs, combine both Christian themes and concepts from nature: the beauty and bounty of the land, the prosperity offered by animals, the circles and spirals suggesting immortality and infinity,” said Jean Jury, a charter member of the FVUCS.

By tradition, Ukrainians break the long fast of Lent by having a meal which has been blessed at the Easter morning church service.

The basket of food — and each family strives to have the most impressive basket — is decorated with embroidered linens, and contains special Easter breads known as paska and babka, and several pysanky. The pysanky are for decorative purposes only, and are not eaten.

The first class will be held on Friday, March 18, from 1  to 4 p.m. and a repeat second class will be offered on Saturday, March 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. A third session will take place on Saturday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Pre-registration is required. Cost is $20 for adults, and $15 for children (ages 7-14). All supplies are included.

Each participant will take home his or her own decorated Ukrainian Easter egg. Spaces are limited. To register, or for information, phone 604-853-9568.

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