Easter eggs – Pysanka

Pysanka is one of the most interesting expressions of the Ukrainian folk art. It is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist method. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty”, which means “to write”.  A specialized instrument called kistka or ryl'tse is used to write the design with hot wax.

Ukrainians have been decorating eggs for many generations. This tradition is very old andreaches back to antiquity.

The color and the symbols of the egg have specific meanings. Red stood for  the sun, life, joy; yellow symbolized wealth and fertility; green was the symbol of spring and plant life.

The intricately colored eggs symbolized various social and religious occasions and were considered to be a talisman, a protector against evil. The symbolic ornamentation of the pysanka consists of geometric motifs, with some animal and plant elements.

The most significant motif is the stylized symbol of the sun. Other popular motifs are endless lines, stylized flowers, leaves, the tree of life and also some animal figures such as stags, horses or birds. Such elements as the cross, the church and fish brought the Christian influence.

Nowadays Ukrainians also decorate the eggs and use traditional patterns and ornaments equally with some modern pictures and images.