Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter Eggs
What are Pysanky?
Pysanky are Easter eggs decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk art using a wax-resist method. Its name comes from the word “pysaty,” which means “to write.” Pysanka (PIH-san-kah) is the singular form, and pysanky (pih-san-KIH) is the plural form.
The designs are created with a kistka, a special stylus that holds liquid wax. The wax is applied to the egg, sealing that area from the dye and keeping it white. The egg is dyed, and more wax is applied. This process continues, progressing from light to dark-colored dyes, and then the wax is removed by heating the egg and gently wiping off the melted wax.
Ukrainians have been decorating eggs using this method for generations. Aren’t they beautiful?
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Pysanky in Literature
Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco is a lovely story that features a babushka* well-known for her beautiful hand-painted eggs.
Find out what happens when Rechenka (Babushka’s rescued goose) accidentally breaks some of them.
*Babushka is Russian for “grandmother.”
Eggceptional Pysanky Facts & Fun
This video from Reading Rainbow includes interesting facts about eggs, a reading of Rechenka’s Eggs, and a segment with Patricia Pollaco sharing her inspiration behind the story – and how she makes pysanky.
Make Your Own Pysanky
Download children’s handouts from @pysanky.info. Discover the myths, legends, and symbolism of pysanky, and learn how to make your own with step-by-step directions.
Several pattern sheets – and an egg template for designing and coloring – are also available.
Where is Ukraine?
Ukraine is Europe’s second-largest country. Ukraine means “Land on the edge,” which is fitting since it sits on the eastern edge of the European continent.
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