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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?

Pysanka Ukrainian Egg decorating

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through, a small commission will be paid to Globe Trottin’ Kids at no additional cost to you.

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.”

Rechenka's Eggs

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.

Download children’s handouts from @pysanky.info.  Learn about 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.

pysanky

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. Learn more about Ukraine.

Ukraine

Pysanky Related Products

pysanky kit

Decorating kit includes three kistkas, beeswax, cleaning wire, and instructions (no dyes).

 

pysanky decorating set

Ukrainian Easter egg decorating set with pysanky dyes, colored beeswax, and kistka tools.

Pysanka Ukrainian Easter Eggs

2 Comments

  1. robbie @ use resources wisely on July 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I remember doing this in geometry class in high school. Our teacher had made them for generations in his family and it was truly a labor of love. I would love to try this again!

    • Julie Yeros on July 22, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      How fun! What a great idea to integrate multicultural art into a geometry activity!

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