The korovai ( _uk. коровай) is a traditional Ukrainian wedding bread. The bread has great symbolic meaning, and has remained part of the wedding tradition in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.

Origins and decoration of korovai

The bread has ancient origins, and comes from the pagan belief in the magical properties of grain. [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pagesKOKorovaiIT.htm Korovai] at the [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/default.asp Encyclopedia of Ukraine] ] Korovai was a large round braided bread, traditionally baked from wheat flour and decorated with symbolic flags and figurines, such as suns, moons, birds, animals, and pine cones. [Betsy Oppenneer. "Celebration Breads: Recipes, Tales, and Traditions ". Simon and Schuster, 2003. ISBN 0743224833] Wheat stalks, herbs, nuts, flowers and fruit were used to embellish the korovai. The bread has no set design, and the style and ornamentation of the korovai varies by region, although colors red, gold and silver were most commonly employed in decoration. [http://www.nazdorovya.com/korovai.htm Korovai] . Nazdorovya: Korovai by Lisa McDonald. Site last updated: 31 August 2007]

The bread was traditionally prepared in the home of the bride by women who sang traditional songs to guide them through the making. These women were called the "korovainytsi", and were most often invited in odd numbers to do the job of making the bread, usually seven.

The embellishments served a symbolic function. Two birds, made out of dough, represent the couple, and other birds represent family and friends. The entire arrangement is surrounded by a wreath of periwinkle, a symbol of love and purity. The korovai receives blessings before it is placed in the oven for baking.

The bride and groom were given the korovai as a blessing before the wedding ceremony. The korovai was shared by all the wedding guests, and this was considered the culmination of the wedding. During times of hardship, when a wedding was impossible, the blessing and sharing of bread was often considered enough to constitute a marriage in the eyes of the community. [ Orysia Paszczak Tracz. "Vesillia: Ukrainian weddings in Manitoba over the last century ". "The Ukrainian Weekly". October 27, 2002. ]

Dividing the korovai

The top part of the korovai symbolizes the Moon; it is divided in half and belongs to the marrying couple, the next slice goes to the mother and father of the bride, and so on. In eastern Ukraine, the mother receives a pair of shoes made out of dough, while the father is given an owl, out of those decorating the korovai. [ [http://www.pisni.org.ua/arview.php?type=ar&id=94 Vesillia - Sviata Nedilia: Sviatyi Korovai] . Pisni.org.ua]

The bottom section of the korovai called the "pidoshva" can be shared with the guests and the band as a symbol of good luck and future prosperity.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Korovai — Un korovai ucraniano tradicional hecho para una boda. El korovai (ucraniano: коровай, polaco: korowaj) es un pan tradicional de Ucrania, Rusia y Polonia,[1] muy frecuente en las bodas, donde tie …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ukrainian wedding traditions — Ukrainian wedding is the marriage custom in Ukrainian culture both in Ukraine and her diaspora. The traditional weddings included folk song, dance, music, and visual art, with rituals dating back to pre Christian times. Over time, the ancient… …   Wikipedia

  • Handfasting — An example of a handfasting knot where each wedding guest has tied a ribbon around the clasped hands of the couple. Handfasting is a traditional European ceremony of (temporary or permanent) betrothal or wedding. It usually involved the tying or… …   Wikipedia

  • Marriage — For other uses, see Marriage (disambiguation). Married and Matrimony redirect here. For other uses, see Married (disambiguation) and Matrimony (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Wedding — For other uses, see Wedding (disambiguation). Relationships …   Wikipedia

  • Black tie — This article is about the dress code. For the country rock band, see Black Tie (band). Western dress codes Formal wear Formal Semi formal (including black tie) Informal Smart casual Business casual Casual Active attire …   Wikipedia

  • Marriage licence — Marriage License from the State of Georgia A marriage license is a document issued, either by a church or state authority, authorizing a couple to marry. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time.… …   Wikipedia

  • Wedding anniversary — A wedding anniversary is the anniversary of the date a wedding took place. Contents 1 Official recognition 2 Celebration and gifts 2.1 Traditional and modern anniversary gifts …   Wikipedia

  • Ukrainian culture — Part of a series on Ukrainians …   Wikipedia

  • Ukrainian cuisine — has significant diversity, historical traditions. Cuisine Flavors and Colors of Ukrainian Culture. ] Ukraine.com. Accessed July 2011.</ref> Common foods used include meats, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, berries and herbs.[1][2] In Ukraine …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.