Ukrainian Traditions: How to Decorate your Own Psyanka Easter Egg

A “pysanka” (plural: pysanky) is a traditional Ukrainian Easter egg. The word originates from the verb pysaty, which means “to write”. The decorative designs are drawn on the eggs with beeswax, known as the batik method, a tradition that goes back to ancient times.

Like many Ukrainian traditions, psyanka art has pre-Christian roots, representing the rebirth of the earth, and the designs meticulously painted on the shell have meanings that go back eras.

With the advent of Christianity, the pysanka came to represent the Resurrection of Christ and rebirth of man and played an important role in Ukrainian religious traditions.

How to Make Your Own Psyanky Right at Home

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to make your own pysanky by applying wax with a stylus tool called a “kistka” and dipping them in dyes of progressively darker shades.

You will need: an egg, a pencil, vinegar, napkins, a candle, matches, beeswax, a kistka instrument, and dyes. Of all this, a kistka instrument will be the hardest to obtain. If you can’t buy one, you can make it – it is essentially a small metal funnel for melting beeswax and drawing thin lines with it on a handle. It’s best to use special pysanka dyes or synthetic fabric dyes, not edible egg dyes, for the best result.

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to craft your own eggs:

 

Now you’re ready to starting designing your own psyanky!

How did you go? Let us know how your psyanky eggs turned out on our Facebook page!

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