Mysterious symbolism of Ukrainian embroidery


On the International Vyshyvanka Day, people wear Ukrainian national embroidered shirts that impress with their beauty and diversity. However, not everybody knows that images and patterns feature rich symbolism.

Each stitch, star or flower has its own meaning. Ukrainians believed that embroidery is a peculiar talisman protecting against everything bad and they tried to represent happiness, fate, life, and power in the ornaments.


The symbol of well-being, peace, and fortune. It also means perfection, harmony, and order. In the Ukrainian tradition, the square is the symbol of earth.



The symbol of the sun and earth union as well as utility. It consists of two triangles which represent the male and female principles. The rhomb with a dot inside means a sown field which equaled to prosperity and abundance for Ukrainian ancestors.



The symbol of the sun, heaven energy, and eternity.


Herbal motives

Main meanings are purity and prosperity.


Snowball tree

The symbol of love, wealth, beauty, motherhood, and procreation (bush – mother, berries – children).



The symbol of family happiness.


Poppy flowers

Help ward off the evil eye.


The tree of life

The symbol of beauty, youth, soul renewal, immortality, resurrection, and fertility.



The symbol of a happy family life. The heart is usually embroidered on wedding dresses.



The stars protect from evil, diseases, and weakness.



The symbols of the female and male essence, spirit, and matter.


Wavy lines

The symbol of water, rain, time stream, and the evolution of the universe.



The protective amulet from the evil spirits.



The symbol of a hearth and family happiness.


The star with eight rays

The union of female and male principles which gives birth to all.


Сurve dance or the symbol of infinity

The main meanings are life journey, eternity, strength, and vital energy.

Vyshyvanka is more than just an embroidered shirt, is the unique code of the Ukrainian nation.

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