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Ukrainian Museum Celebrates Easter

By Emily McDermott

The Ukrainian Museum in the East Village is closing for two Sundays in April in observance of both Christian and Orthodox Easters while other Ukrainian venues maintain regular hours.

The Ukrainian Museum is celebrating Easter with an exhibition of nearly 300 pysanky, intricately decorated Easter eggs, on display through May 27, but was closed April 8 and will be closed April 15 in observance of both Easters.

However, the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant has no specials for Easter and remained open this weekend and will be open next Sunday.

The Ukrainian general store Surma is always closed on Sundays and will maintain regular business hours throughout the week.

Some Ukrainians celebrate Christian Easter and others celebrate the Orthodox Easter, the Museum’s Education Programs Coordinator Oskana Mahlay said, which is why the museum is closed for two Sundays.

Throughout the past month the museum has been preparing for and celebrating Easter with families and individuals.

Residents and museum members were invited to participate in workshops, create their own decorated eggs and learn about Ukrainian Easter traditions.

“We had excellent responses. So many people are interested in learning about the Ukrainian traditions,” Mahlay said.

A traditional Ukrainian Easter begins during Holy Week, the week prior to Easter, with services every day, Mahlay said.

On a Ukrainian Easter Sunday, people bring baskets of delicacies such as paska bread, ham, horseradish, and fresh flowers to the church service.

After the service, the priest blesses each basket before the goods are taken home and eaten.

“There are absolutely no bunnies,” Mahlay said of the Ukrainian Easter tradition. “Easter is more about what you gave up for Lent.”

The Ukrainian Museum is located at 222 East 6th Street. The Ukrainian Restaurant is located at 140 Second Avenue. Surma is located at 11 East 7th Street.

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