Held July 25, 2013 in Ottawa Canada, Pokrova Korovai Master Class welcomed guest instructor Isabel Lukie, to showcase the art of korovai (wedding/anniversary) bread-making. A former elementary educator and community activist, Isabel Lukie brings knowledge of the history and the tricks of the trade to creating beautiful korovai.
From the time of Kyivan Rus’, korovai bread relates to hospitality and holiday customs. A traditional large, round, braided bread, most often used at weddings, its ancient origins come from the pagan belief in the magical properties of grain. Baked from wheat flour, korovai was decorated with symbols, such as suns, moons, birds, animals and pine cones. Stalks of wheat, herbs, nuts, flowers & fruit often embellished the bread. With no set design, its style and ornamentation varied by region.
For weddings, korovai are prepared in the bride’s home by women singing traditional songs that guide the baking. The women, called ‘korovainytsi’, were usually invited in odd numbers to make the bread – usually seven. Decoration serves a symbolic function, with two birds made of dough, representing the couple, and other birds representing family and friends. The bread is surrounded by a fresh wreath (vinok) of perwinkle, symbolizing love and purity.
The bride and groom are given the korovai as a blessing before the wedding ceremony. It is shared by wedding guests, considered the culmination of the wedding. The top part of the korovai is reserved for the couple with remaining slices given to parents, family and guests for good luck and future prosperity.
Pokrova Network is proud to share a unique Ukrainian tradition in Ottawa, Canada.
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