Vernon singer-songwriter Marv Machura joins the Zirka Ukrainian Dancers to celebrate Malanka (Ukrainian New Year) at a special open mic night at the Outboard Waterfront Pub Friday

Vernon singer-songwriter Marv Machura joins the Zirka Ukrainian Dancers to celebrate Malanka (Ukrainian New Year) at a special open mic night at the Outboard Waterfront Pub Friday

Happy Ukrainian New Year

Toast “Malanka,” the start of the new year, at Vernon's Outboard Waterfront Pub with the Marv Machura Band and the Zirka dancers.

Just when you thought the holidays were over comes another festive celebration.

Canadians of Ukrainian descent are about to toast the “Malanka,” the start of the new year, in accordance to the Julian calendar, with feasting, music and dancing.

A special event is planned in Vernon Friday when the Marv Machura Band hosts a special Keith’s open mic pub night at the Outboard Waterfront Pub.

Joining the musicians will be special guests, the Zirka Ukrainian Dancers.

“The Malanka is a very old and important celebration in the Ukrainian Cultural Calendar,” said Machura, a Vernon-based bandleader, songwriter, and recording artist of Ukrainian heritage.

“Tradition has it that the beautiful daughter of the sun was captured by the Evil One and held captive in the underworld. During her captivity, the Earth fell into an endless winter. But upon Malanka’s rescue and release, the winter ended and life could begin again. For thousands of years, people have celebrated the rescue and release of Malanka with feasting, drinking, dancing, and singing.”

Machura first started performing in Ukrainian wedding bands as a teenager some 40 years ago.

“I have always loved performing at Malanka events and am looking forward to bringing this to Vernon along with the Zirka dancers,” said Machura. “Everyone is welcome to come down to the Outboard: a special perogie meal will be on the menu as well as all the other regular menu items.”

An open mic will also be part of the fun, and those wishing to sign up can do so at the event, which runs Jan. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit www.marvmachura.com