Pysanka is derived from the Ukrainian word pysaty, meaning "to write". The designs are written or drawn on an egg with melted beeswax using an instrument known as a kystka.
In many cultures the egg has represented the original source of creation. Pre-christian peoples used decorated eggs to welcome the sun during the spring cycle of festivals.
The symbolism of pysanka design blends ancient rituals with Christian traditions. Spring is a time for release from the confines of winter and Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ and the spiritual rebirth of man. With the acceptance of Christianity in 988 A.D., the pysanka became part of the tradition and ritual of Easter. The pysanka took on the symbolism of rebirth. The egg symbol was likened to the tomb from which Christ rose. Rich ornamentation of the egg began and eggs became treasured as religious mementos. Receipt of a pysanka is the ultimate in personalized gifts since each pysanka must have a symbolic meaning for the recipient.
HTML Translation, including ribbons and icons by GBarkman Art & Design © 2002 GBarkman.
Egg Images, Designs & Text © 2002 P. De Angelo. "All Rights Reserved".