Egg-cellent Ukrainian Easter

Ukrainian Easter Eggs
By on June 1, 2022

The Cathedral Church of St Michael and All Angels, Kelowna

Micheal Kalmuk, of St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral in Kelowna, BC came up with an “egg-cellent” idea for raising funds to help the people of Ukraine. At our on-line Zoom coffee time meeting for St. Michael’s Cathedral on Tuesday mornings we were all feeling somewhat distraught …frozen and helpless…as to what we could do to help out the people of Ukraine in this terrible time of war.

Michael Kalmuk with Ukrainian Easter eggs. Photographs by Jean Miller

Michael had a brilliant idea!!

Michael’s mother was Ukrainian and as Michael grew up his mother taught him how to make beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs called “Pysanky. “ To celebrate Ukrainian Easter, Michael designed and made his own Pysanky every year. Michael has given away numerous eggs and taught lots of friends to make them too. Over the years his collection grew. He has amassed a collection of 120 eggs in total. So, this year he offered to organize a fundraiser at the cathedral and generously donated the whole collection for sale. Then Michael’s friend, Michel-Jean Szczepaniak, whom he had taught to decorate eggs, donated 24 of his Polish style “Pisanki” when he heard about the fund raiser; and that made a grand total of 144 eggs to sell.

The fund raiser began on our Anglican Easter Sunday and finished on Ukrainian Easter Sunday. Eggs were purchased by donation and all monies collected will be sent to the Primates World Relief Fund specially marked for Ukraine.

We learned the Pysanky had patterns and symbols on them that meant something important, that the colours were special and that the his eggs were all raw, not blown, and were in various stages of drying out. The older the eggs, the lighter the weight of the egg. Michael even provided a handout as to how to take care of the eggs and provided containers for them to be taken home safely.

We all took our time choosing our favourite designs from this beautiful collection. Gramas and Grampas bought eggs for grandchildren. Parents bought for their children. Other parishioners purchased eggs for Easter table decorations. A minimum donation of $10.00 was asked for but people generously donated. Over $3,000.00 will have been raised to help the Ukraine. These eggs will be a reminder of those suffering in Ukraine whom we have tried to help in a small way. We pray their situation finds a quick and peaceful resolution.

Thank you Michael for your generous, Egg-cellent idea!


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