Ukrainian Wedding Traditions: Rushnyk
The traditional rushnyk holds many meanings and represents several blessings for a Ukranian family. The rushnyk plays an important role in wedding rituals. During a wedding ceremony, the embroidered rushynk symbolizes purity as well as hope that the newlywed couple will never face poverty or hard times. The saying goes “may the couple never stand on a bare dirt floor.”
The rushnyk is a symbol of Ukraine, which connects people with their ancestors. Every rushnyk is like a novel about life, nature, people, and traditions. The rushynk is embroidered with symbols and cryptograms of the ancient world. Each region has its own designs and patterns with hidden meaning, passed down from generation to generation.
The main color of rushnyk embroidery is red, the symbol of life, sun, and fertility.
Almost every Ukrainian wedding ceremony will see the couple step on the embroidered cloth before they take their vows. Traditionally the one who steps first will be the leader in couple. It seems that the groom almost always lets the bride step on the cloth first, a gesture that is both respectful and endearing.
The design of St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre strongly reflects Ukrainian culture and traditions with the décor depicting various forms of Ukrainian art. If you’d like to host your wedding reception with us, contact us. We’d love to be a part of your special day!
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