We pay tribute to an Ukrainian folk tradition that goes back thousands of years: the pysanka. Join us in encouraging everyone to learn about the beautifully dyed eggs, with bright geometric shapes, strong contrasts, fine motifs and familiar images.
Your homemade pysanka can be an Easter egg, but it does not have to. The tradition predates the arrival of Christianity in Ukraine. Floral, animal, agricultural and celestial imagery are all part of the long tradition. The pysanky are sometimes free of any figurative representation and simply made of symmetrical, repetitive lines and shapes. As long as you keep strong contrasts and symmetry in mind, your pysanka will shine. According to the best documented website, pysanky.info, the symbolism of the imagery varied greatly throughout the ages. So, the joy it brings is more important than matching any predetermined meanings. Feel free to personalize your pysanka and to include elements inspired by your immediate surroundings and experience. After all, bee wax and eggs predate humanity.
The world’s largest pysanka is nearly 40 meters high and located in Alberta, Canada. We found that out from the Parliament of Canada’s Library, where gorgeous wooden pysanky of great symbolic significance are preserved.
We have seen crafty pysanky made with regular crayons and food coloring found at home. The kistka is the special tool for applying hot wax between dips in liquid dye. For a list of supplies, see this how-to article on MyModernMet. It shows where to find an electrical kistka, and there is also a way to make your own. Bunny eggs are optional.