Ottawa kids experience the traditional Ukrainian art of Pysanky
Painting Easter eggs is always fun for children, and during March Break, they have the opportunity to do it the Ukrainian way, traditionally known as Pysanky.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Ottawa is holding a children’s painting workshop Wednesday though Friday this week where kids between the ages of 8 and 15 can come experience Ukrainian egg painting for $20 per child. All proceeds go towards helping Ukraine.
"It’s pretty fun. But it does take lots of time," says eight-year-old Naomi.
It might be time consuming, but the results can be worth it.
"I like heating and filling the wax," says Naomi. "This is a lot more different. It’s more precision."
After drawing a design on the egg, a needle is heated over a flame, then dipped in beeswax. The needle is then used to carefully trace the wax onto the egg.
"It’s a lot of fun," says 16-year-old Kat. "I think I might have chosen something too complicated but it’s really relaxing to paint eggs."
The egg is then placed in a jar of coloured dye, painting only the part of the egg without wax.
"It takes a lot of mental energy to make the designs even," says Kat. "But it’s really therapeutic. You just have to make sure no big blobs come out."
You repeat these steps, starting from the lightest colour to the darkest, to create a picture perfect Easter egg.
Tamara Rudenko-Charalambij is the Pysanky workshop coordinator and says the painting is always a big hit with the kids.
"We are giving children the opportunity to enjoy some of the Ukrainian traditions that we typically begin in the spring," says Rudenko-Charalambij.
This yearly tradition, now even more significant. The church is also selling take home Pysanky kits for $35, with all proceeds going towards Ukraine.
Natasha Beaudin has been painting eggs this way for more than 10 years and today is taking home one of the kits.
"It’s such a nice way to mark the season," says Beaudin. "I like having these little rituals that kind of mark the rebirth of spring."
Many of the kids painting today agreed that the art of Pysanky is quite relaxing.
"It’s really fun, I think. It’s calming," says 10-year-old Natalya. "I really like this part where you get to colour it in. It’s probably one of my favourites."
For Naomi, this might be her first Ukrainian egg, but it probably won't be her last.
"I think the final product is good," says Naomi. "And the experience was really fun."
There’s still time to visit their website for tickets.