Rozhanytsia performs at Willows Park on July 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring music and  audience participation as they share their Ukrainian culture.

Rozhanytsia performs at Willows Park on July 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring music and audience participation as they share their Ukrainian culture.

Ukrainian group shares culture at Willows Park

Rozhanytsia performs in Willows Park from 6 to 9 p.m. on July 20.

The colour of Ukrainian culture comes to Willows on Monday night when the Rozhanytsia performs in the park.

“It’s rare that we have groups that come from Ukraine and perform in Victoria,” said Victoria Kaspryk, office manager at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre that organized the Oak Bay event. “It’s a folk group so they sing traditional Ukrainian folk songs. They show people how it was done, how different things were celebrated.”

More than just music, it’s a performance, with family-friendly audience participation and the chance to learn about ancient summer ritual songs and dances from Ukraine. For example they’ll perform a celebration of St. John the Baptist Feast.

“It’s custom to make wreaths … and put them on the water, the guy who’s in love with you should catch it and that means you marry that guy within the next year,” Kaspryk said.

Other traditional stories shared include a fair tale where ferns have a flower that only blossoms midnight between July 6 and 7

“Whoever finds it will have superpowers,” Kaspryk said. Then there are the mermaids, who can walk out of the water at night. “They can actually lure you into the water, especially guys that are not married.”

The group comes to Victoria after stops in Edmonton, Vernon and Langley.

 

The Willows Park performance is from 6 to 9 p.m. on July 20.  “It’s a free event,” Kaspryk said. “Bring your blanket and a picnic and enjoy.”