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GUILFORD — During the Lenten season, Christians do different things to connect with their faith. Some give up meat on Fridays, some fast, and others create pysanky.

Amid the warmth of candles, laughter among group members and colors beaming from the eggs, a small group of people gathered at the Guilford Community Church to learn how to make the Ukrainian Easter egg.

Robin Davis and Carole Crompton are hosting clinics at the church during the month of March to teach people how to make pysanky.

According to Ukrainian folk legend, the fate of the world depends upon the creation of pysanky. If this custom is forsaken, evil (characterized as a horrible serpent, chained for eternity) will overrun the world. The making of Pysanky is said to strengthen the serpent’s chains, keeping evil in check for yet another year.

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“For me, the coming of the Lenten season means it’s time for making pysanky. For many years, I have gathered with friends and family around the dining room table to make these eggs,” said Davis. “The wonderful aroma of melting beeswax, the quiet ‘scratching’ of the kistka [wax pen] across an eggshell, and finally the triumphant moment as the black beeswax is removed from the egg to reveal your masterpiece.”

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As the war rages on in Ukraine, this was something that she and other thought could create solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“So I’ve done this years before and was never really trained. I had read in the announcement for this event,” said Mandy Lape-Freberg, from West Lebanon, N.H., and a pastor in Hanover, N.H. “Ukrainians believe that making these eggs will help spread peace around the world. And I really felt like this is a time for all of us to work for peace in any way that we can.”

She also added that she wanted to come and get reacquainted and watch someone else teach the method so she could take it back to her community.

Ken Kornfield, of Brattleboro, who said this was his first time making pysanky, said it was trickier than he thought it would be, but over the course of the class it was becoming easier.

“I think the camaraderie of the folks that are here, it’s delightful,” said Kornfield. “I also like learning new skills, it’s fun to be creative and particularly around these being Ukrainian eggs and what’s happening these days, it’s a nice connection.”

The eggs that are made during the clinics are also for sale with the money going to the International Rescue Committee, which has teams in Poland helping refugees from Ukraine.

The clinic will be at the Guilford Community Church on Fridays and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, through the end of March. RSVP to Davis at 802-380-0994 for the Friday clinic, and Crompton at 802-689-0577 for Saturday.


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