Decorating Eggs

Along with the great symbolism of the Easter basket foods, Ukrainians are very particular in their efforts when preparing their decorative Easter eggs, known as "Pysanky".  The art of Pysanky is so ancient that no one really knows its exact origins. It is known, however, that at least 200 years ago, primitive people who lived in the area which is now Ukraine worshipped the sun. The pagan people saw a similarity between the yellow yoke of the egg and the sun, the white of the egg and the moon. In those ancient times, the egg was believed to actually have magical powers. Eggs were often used during sun worship ceremonies. These people also understood that the egg could be the source of life.

When Ukraine accepted Christianity in 988 A.D., the egg was adopted as a religious symbol of the Easter celebration. Not long after that, there are written references that show a well developed custom of decorating eggs with designs of Christian significance. That beautiful art of Pysanky tradition continues today, even among many who do not enjoy a Ukrainian heritage. Each egg which is decorated is recognition of the significance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on that first Easter morning.

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