For centuries, the egg represented new life and the Resurrection, which is the reasoning behind them being represented during Easter to this day. The earliest known decorated egg was in the 13th century.
The Easter egg ornament tree decorating began in Germany 1700s and is a popular tradition to modern day.
The first known record of the egg tree in America was in 1876 in Philadelphia. Eastern European and Slavic countries decorated empty eggs on the Easter egg tree, in a fashion similar to the Christian Christmas tree in the 1890s.
Traditional German trees had leaf-less branches wrapped in cotton.
In Germany, residents would gift three dyed eggs along with a traditional German poem. The inside of the eggs were emptied so they could be filled with toys or sweets. In a game similar to the piñata in Mexican cultures, the gifted egg would strike until broken.
Germany continues their long-standing tradition of hanging Easter egg ornaments from trees in celebration in modern times. Another country that joins Germany in this tradition is Austria, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. It is also found in a heavily Germen-influenced town in the United States named the “Pennsylvania Dutch.”
If weather permits, families begin hanging their Easter egg ornaments on trees as early as late February in preparation for Easter. There are sometimes thousands of decorated eggs hung on trees each year, which is the reason for the early start of decorating.
Another common motif on the Easter egg ornament is plant motifs. Inspiration for decorating the ornaments is said to come from sightings found in nature. Symbolism of leaves, trees, flowers and fruits can be seen throughout the Easter egg ornament. The variation on the egg is very exaggerated version of actual nature. In other words, though inspired by nature, it would look a more styled version of a tree in nature.
For example, the “tree of life” is a popular motif in pysanky designs. The tree of life is sometimes seen with an animal in nature. It can also contain leaves and flowers.
Sunflowers, violets and carnations are some of the flowers used in motifs as well. When painting on the ornaments, there will be something quite distinctive about each so they are recognizable. The petals of the carnation with be drawn as ragged so observers will know the specific flower represented.
There are many different materials used in Easter egg ornaments. The decoupage eggs are traditionally used to put gifts inside of the eggs. There is also wooden, glass, plastic, stone, metal and jeweled (also known as Faberge). They also sometimes hang from metal hooks or ribbon.
Bestpysanky gift shop offers a large inventory of Easter egg ornaments in various sizes and pysanky decor.
Every ornament contains a different pysanky symbol. The colors and symbolism are vast and were hand-painted in Ukraine.
The sun and stars on the ornament symbolize fortune, growth and life. Each circle on the ornaments shows the completeness. The diamond shape symbolizes knowledge. Trees are often seen as an eternal symbol in nature and the trees painted on the ornaments symbolize eternal life. The wavy line motifs represent harmony and immortality. The fish is a symbol of Christianity and sacrifice.
Pysanky Easter egg ornaments with bunny chicks