Monday, 16 July 2012

Vinkopletenia in Calgary 2012

Weddings are wonderful, and Ukrainian weddings are even more special, especially in Calgary.  The colors, traditions, the layer upon layer of symbolism in all the events around the wedding just boggle the mind.  It was just so at last night's Vinkopletenia for a beautiful Ukrainian Calgary bride-to-be.  A Ukrainian vinok, the wreath for a wedding is very special.  Though in a religious ceremony of the  Byzantine rite, they will be crowned in glory with golden crowns in church, the traditional vinok for a wedding is evergreen (not like a tree!) from the periwinkle plant called barvinok. 

Barvinok is a low ground covering vine that is very delicate.  The shiny little leaves stay green even in winter, hence the ever-green category.  The fine springs of barvinok are woven together intricately.  Nature crowns the couple, granting them a love that is "ever-green" and ever new.  Makes me think of Barbra Streisand but....

How lucky this young bride had her baba there to bless the ceremony - to pass the traditions of pra-baba's home onto another generation of lovers.  Isn't that the best gift? Time!  Time to learn, time to appreciate, time to share and time to plan the future. Friends and family joined in to wish the "moloda" every blessing upon her new journey.  Life is a circle, everything dependent upon what came before!  And the fruits of time also enter into the circle of life.  Wow! 
The songs of the vinkopletenia ceremony were chosen specifically for this event - Ukrainian folk songs telling of love, stories of nature, the seasons of love, water, moon, stars, roses, kozaks and maidens.  A tradition as old as time, and new as young love. 

Before the event was over the guests all participated in a wish giving standing before the "hiltse" or tree of life, just like the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty.  Thanks to all the lovely musicians who sang with their hearts, revealed the nuances in lyrics and shared the stories of their loves.  May the "molodiata" keep the traditions of their ancestral homes for generations to come.  Mnohaya lita!!
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