Ukrainian Orthodox Easter

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrates Easter according to the dates of the Julian calendar.  In 2021 Easter will be celebrated on May 2.  Saskatchewan is home to many Ukrainian communities, and this exhibit highlights some of the traditions of Easter celebrations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Saskatchewanians of Ukrainian ancestry.

A description of Ukrainian Orthodox Easter traditions, taken from Cooking . . . Ukrainian Style
(PAS PI-1059).  The cookbook was published in 1977 by the Olena Pchilka Branch of
the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. 
The Ukrainian word for Easter is Velykden, meaning The Great Day.


Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Wroxton, SK.
Carl J. Tracie fonds. PAS Photo GM-PH-2106 (152)



Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Prince Albert, SK.
R. H. Macdonald fonds, PAS Photo S-RM-F4429


St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, near Endeavour, SK. 
Father Peter V. Tkaruk blessing the Easter baskets outside the church.  Early 1940s.
PAS Photo R-A20817


Women with Easter bread (paska) to be blessed at the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Whitkow, SK., 1956
PAS Photo S-B9242

Recipe for paska included in Cooking . . . Ukrainian Style
PAS PI-1059


Nine decorated Ukrainian Easter Eggs
Photographic Services Collection.  PAS Photo 54-001-01
There are a number of different types of Ukrainian Easter Eggs.
Pysanky are raw eggs on which designs are created using a wax-resist method.
The designs are made with a tool of some sort, such as a stylus or pinhead.
Krashanky are boiled eggs, dyed a single colour which are blessed and eaten at Easter.


An account of Easter celebrations at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the
Assumption of the Holy Mother of God in Mamornitz, Saskatchewan. 
Excerpt from Mamornitz: A History of a Ukrainian Pioneer Community by Jennie Zayachowski.


Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Wakaw, Saskatchewan
R. H. Macdonald fonds, PAS Photo S-RM-F4344


Sources List:

  1. Cooking . . . Ukrainian Style, PAS, PI-1059
  2. Mamornitz: A History of as Ukrainian Pioneer Community, 1900-1995, PAS, YF 533
  3. Article on Pysanka.  Wikipedia,