Majority of my heritage is Ukrainian. That means that my family celebrates Ukrainian Christmas and Easter. The holidays normally occur after Christian Christmas and Easter. Easter is a huge holiday for both Christians and Ukrainian Orthodox followers. Traditions are ripe throughout our celebrations. They normally involve food. Food is huge in my family; it does not deal with reciprocity to the land. We would have feasts because when my grandparents grew up they were really poor and starved. This was around the time when there were no Wal-Mart’s to buy cheap food. The ability to get food for cheap at a moments notice instead of having to grow it in a garden was lifechanging to my family.
For Easter we would create elaborate baskets full of food. We would take these baskets to a church to be blessed by a Ukrainian Orthodox priest. Afterwards we would have dinners and lunches to eat the blessed food. We could not throw away the blessed food because it was blessed.
Another addition to the baskets were pussy willows. Pussy willows are plants that grow in the ditches of Saskatchewan. We would have the pussy willow blessed too. It represents the cycle of rebirth. Pussy willow grows wild around Saskatchewan. One stalk of pussy willow contains many seeds. If we bless the pussy willow it makes those following seeds sacred. I drew this picture to symbolize the importance and the sacred nature of the pussy willow plant in my family. The butterflies were my grandmothers favourite. I wanted it to symbolize those who have passed. When someone has passed we bring pussy willow. Even though death is a loss of life on Earth the pussy willow layed on the gravesite allows the pussy willow to be blown by wind dispersing the seeds so new pussy willows can grow.
I adore my family traditions and hope to pass them along to my children one day.