Symbolism of Color
The colors used in pysanka are rich in symbolism. Although each region of Ukraine used its own combination of patterns, designs, and colors certain meanings were associated with the following colors:
- The symbol of light and purity. It signified, youth, love, and the harvest. it is the color consecrated to the
- The symbol of endurance and strength. orange, the color
of a flame represented passion tempered by the yellow of
wisdom. It is also the symbol of the eternal sun.
- The color of fertility, health, and hopefulness.
- The magical color of folklore signifying action,
charity, and spiritual awakening. It also represented the sun and the joy of life and love. Pysanky with red fields or motifs are often given to children.
- Represented constancy or eternity. Black also signified
death, fear, and ignorance. Black and white pysanky showed respect for the souls of the dead. Black in
opposition to red signified ignorance arising from
passions. Black in opposition to white signified ignorance of mind.
- Represented Mother Earth and her bountiful gifts.
- Represented blue skies or the air.
- Signified purity and birth.
- Represented fasting, faith, trust, and patience.
- The Christian symbol of reward and recognition.
- Represents bountifulness, hope, and the victory of life over death. Green is the color of Christmas, Easter, and
- Represents the divine love and passion of Christ.
* For further information on symbolism in pysanky, an excellent source is the book PYSANKA: Icon of the Universe by Mary Tkachuk, Marie Kishchuk, and Alice Nicholaichuk, 1977, Ukrainian Museum, 910 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, Sask, Canada S7K 3G9
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