Autumn leaves and blue skies in Canberra during our current heatwave.
This week feels more like a month! I started it in Broulee on the New South Wales South Coast, spent most of it in the bizarre autumn heatwave that has hit Canberra, watched more than my share of the Commonwealth Games that started mid-week, and now it’s Ukrainian Easter!
I have a number of review books – and a few books I bought for myself – that I thought I’d be finished and have reviewed by now, but I’m really behind. What might have been a relaxing beach holiday with my family turned into lots of kilometres-long walks along coasts and around rocky headlands, visits to lots of Victorian towns, visits to beaches I went to as a kid in the 1980s, and lunches and dinners out at both pubs and fancy restaurants! I walked along a lot of beaches, but never even sat on the sand once!
Today is A Big Day for Ukrainians. The Easter basket and the traditional foods have more significance than Christmas, and if you are in Ukraine around this time of year (as I’ve been a few times), people will continue to wish you “Христос воскрес!” – (Khrystos Voskres! – “Christ is Risen!” – “Happy Easter”) for many weeks after the holiday is over.
This weekend is Easter for Ukrainians. It’s a big deal in Ukrainian culture.
So, if you have any chocolate left, you now have an excuse to eat it!
It’s Good Friday all over again for those who follow the old calendar, and in many ways this feels like the real one – Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Easter traditions are more complex than those observed in the West.
Here is an old Ukrainian Easter postcard by Oleg Kovalenko.
Happy Easter! We are being very Ukrainian. That bowl of pysanky (Ukrainian hand-painted Easter eggs)? All of them were all made by us in the 1980s – I was VERY young then! They take forever to make, but they are so badly faded now. We need to make some more, but these days it’s illegal to import a lot of the important stuff needed to make them to Australia (customs regulations are very strict here). Also, these days all eggs in the shops are murky brown and stamped with ink numbers. You need white eggs to paint.
The blue embroidery is from the Lviv region of Ukraine, where my grandmother and her family comes from. The black embroidery is from central Ukraine.
The candle holders are also from there; my aunt just bought them for us as a present – the floral design is so typical of Ukraine.
Autumn in Canberra is generally gorgeous! This was Good Friday at the Kingston Foreshore.
King Parrots everywhere around here in autumn.
The world has been so crazy this week, I can’t even be bothered discussing it!
I know it doesn’t mean much more than time off work for most people in the West these days, but Easter is a big deal in Ukrainian culture.
We will be doing the full celebration tomorrow (but the person responsible for putting church at 8am is not in my good books!).