This weekend we at Rushnychok Ukrainian Folk Dance association will celebrate our annual celebration of Malanka. This event is not only our largest fundraiser for the year, but it gives our dancers and instructors an opportunity to showcase their dances and talents to parts of their extended family and friends that may not have seen them dance yet. This year, our all ages event has been moved to TCU Place in Saskatoon and will feature all of our dancers from Tots to Sapphire. The dancers and instructors have been working hard to put finishing touches on the dances and we are very excited for a preview of what I’m sure will be award winning dances on the competition run this year!
Rushnychok Malanka could not happen without the dedication of our parent run volunteer committee and our costume committee. These parents have put in many hours coordinating logistics for the evening and we thank them for being involved in a way that will bring our families together. Our costume committee has been working tirelessly as well to make sure all of the costume pieces are ready to go to make our dancers dazzle on stage! And to you, the Dance Parent, thank you for your part in helping Malanka be successful! Without your dedication to Ukrainian dance, Malanka would not be as much fun as it is.
What is Malanka?
I found this origin story on wikipedia and thought I would share it. The Ukrainian New Year obtained the name Malanka from a Christianized folk tale of pagan origin, as collected and published by a Ukrainian ethnologist. The story is based on the creator god Praboh, and his four sons and one daughter. One of his sons was the Devil, the second son was St. George (Yar-Yarylo), the third St. John (Rai), and the fourth was Lad or Myr (Peace). The one daughter is an earth goddess named Lada, who had two children: a son called the Moon and a daughter “Spring-May”, later referred to as Mylanka because she was loving (мила). As mother Earth, she was responsible for the blooming of flowers and the greenery of spring. In a version of the myth of Hades and Persephone, Mylanka’s evil uncle (the Devil) desired her presence in the underworld and abducted her one-day when the Moon was hunting. While she was gone, the Earth was left without spring and once she was released from the vices of the Devil, flowers began to bloom and greenery spread around the world. Ukrainians celebrate Malanka to symbolize the onset of spring (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malanka).
Thus, Malanka signifies the start of the new year and the onset of spring! We are very excited to be able to celebrate the Ukrainian New Year with you and cannot wait to see everyone this weekend.