s the war in Ukraine continues into the Easter season—with the Catholic and Protestant churches celebrating Easter on April 17, and Orthodox Easter, as celebrated by many Ukrainians, falling on April 24—a spotlight is shining on the Ukrainian Easter tradition of decorating Easter eggs known as Pysanky. As the war brought new meaning and purpose to an ancient tradition dating back to pre-Christian times, decorating them has been viewed as a sign of peace.
To raise funds for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, artists are holding fundraisers. The Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City has, for instance, invited the public to decorate eggs. These submissions are now on display.
The name for these Easter eggs—Pysanka In the singular Pysanky as plural—is derived from the Ukrainian verb pysaty, which means “to write,” or писатиUkrainian The word is the name of the egg’s writing. Many Christians are familiar with dyeing Easter eggs in solid colors. However, Ukrainian Easter eggs can be decorated with complex floral and geometric designs.
It is not known when this custom began, but there are many origin stories that can be found, some of which date back before Easter. According to Sofika Zolkyk, an ethnographer based in New York City, one story states that the egg is used to symbolize the return of sunlight after long winter. Another tale says eggs were chosen because of their yellow color, which is said to be similar to the sun. Pysanka artist. A pre-Christian legend also tells of the monster who is the personification and embodiment of evil in the Carpathian Mountains. Pysanky people make, the tighter the chains are wrapped around the monster, keeping it at bay so that it doesn’t destroy the world.
Zielyk will be curating the exhibition of Pysanky The Ukrainian Institute of America says that the story of the Monster inspired it. She imagines Russian President Vladimir Putin being the monster and all the accumulations. Pysanky symbolizes reining him in.
Learn more Here’s why Easter eggs are a thing
The resurrection symbol in Christianity is the egg. The meaning of traditional egg designs is also embedded in the eggs. According to Christian tradition, the Holy Trinity is represented by triangles placed on eggs. Ukraine has many different decorating methods for eggs. The example of this is the PysankyWestern Ukraine has drawings of chicks representing fertility, and deer for strength and prosperity.
The Pysanka tradition wasn’t widely practiced in Ukraine when the country was under Soviet rule from World War II until 1991, when Ukraine regained its independence. “Ever since Ukraine regained independence, there has been a rebirth of this tradition in Ukraine,” says Zielyk.
Learn more Coronavirus is upending traditions for Passover and Easter—But traditions have adapted for past pandemics too
The symbolism associated with the Pysanky continues long after Easter. To make cattle more strong, some people add eggshells to cattle feed. Others put the eggs in their gardens for a better harvest. Good luck is said to be found in placing an egg on each corner of a home. Zielyk hopes that the shipment will be successful. Pysanky on display at the Ukrainian Institute of America to Ukraine to “symbolically to help with the rebirth” of the country, to contribute to efforts to help the country rebuild.
Decorating is more important than ever. Pysanky This is one way to demonstrate that Ukrainian culture still exists in a period when war threatens sites and cultural heritage. As Zielyk puts it, “The fragile egg is still here, and we’re still here.”
Read More From Time