The delicate nature of real eggs is what makes Pysanky eggs all the more unbelievable. Ukrainian Easter Egg Pysanky are part of an ancient Ukrainian tradition of decorating whole eggshells with elaborate geometric patterns and pictures. Although it may seem improbable, these eggs are real.
Pysanky are made by puncturing the shell in two places and carefully removing the liquid contents of the egg by blowing them out. Using the hot wax pen the artists writes a pattern, dips the pysanky into dyes, lets then dry and continues the process several times, producing colorful overlapping patterns on the shell of the Ukrainian eggs.
Folk cultures around the world consider the pysanky a symbol of springtime and rebirth. It's a wonderful gift of life with a deep meaning!
Ukrainian Easter Eggs
Part of an ancient Ukrainian tradition, decorating these fragile pieces is a time consuming and delicate process that requires creativity and much patience, and most people who see these beauties don't believe the are real eggs until they are told of the technique to get them there.
The first step in the making of pysanky eggs is to puncture the shell of an egg then carefully and slowly blow the liquid contents of each egg out.
Once this is done, the artist takes a hot wax pen and draws a pattern on the shell. Because the shells are so fragile, this part of the process is rather difficult. After the design is drawn on each egg, it is then dipped into various dyes. In between each dipping, the eggs must dry before they can be drawn on further. This produces beautiful, overlapping patterns on the eggs that are almost impossible to believe.
This Easter egg decoration technique is considered by many different folk cultures around the world as a symbol of springtime and rebirth. So the decorations have a much deeper meaning than simply being pretty to look at on your Easter Sunday dinner table. They have a cherished history, and are often thought of as being a glorious symbol of the chick emerging from what may seem like a lifeless shell, as well as the grass growing and flowers blooming from the cold, hard winter ground.
Pysanky Decorating Tradition
The tradition of decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs is about 8,000 years. It goes back to the ritual of the Earth Spring rebirth. Every Slavic women knew how to decorate the Easter egg.
The numbers were sacred for our ancestors and each had its own value and power. That is why the certain eggshell surface division and continuous repetition of some elements is not accidental.
The division into 2 parts describes the idea of ??two worlds. The three vertical parts meant 3 celestial spheres. And the division into 4 formed a cross, which means the four cardinal directions.
Classic hemispheres division into four parts, each of which is divided into three means the four seasons of three months. In other theory the world consisted of 6 parts. Such spatial orientation form hexagonal star.
Exploring ancient pysanky, scientists have guessed that in ancient times there was an eight-year calendar cycle. In folk mythology sky has eight areas - "Oblokiv" seven of blue color and red eighth, on which sits the God himself.
There is an interesting division into forty pieces, called "sorokoklyntsi". Each "klynets" meant some kind of human activity or natural phenomenon, as in the Christian vision - forty days of fasting.
Red - probably the oldest and the most meaningful color. It symbolizes goodness, joy of life and hope for a happy marriage. That red egg is the main symbol of the Resurrection, sacrifice and heavenly fire. Symbolizes the blood shed by the people of the risen Savior and joy of life.
Yellow - orb, heat, harvest.
Green - means spring awakening of nature, hope, life.
Blue - sky, air, cleanliness and health
Brown, brown - the earth and its life-giving force
Black - the color of the night, afterlife, all the unknown and secret. As a pysanky background, shows the strength of other colors. Also symbolizes infinite life, the continuation of life after death.
By pysanky division the different fields are formed of various shapes and sizes. They form the elements of ornament. Each of these characters came to us from ancient times. Transcarpathian eggs as well as Ukrainian - a whole ideological system with dozens of ornamental motifs. They serve the basic outlines of the most popular characters on the egg. Reading them, one can understand the deeper meaning of Easter.
The ancient symbol of Easter was one of the traditional festivals honoring the sun. The people believed that the sun was the God's eye. It symbolizes the power over the night which is synonymous with blindness and injustice. Popular belief says that with the first rays of the rising sun, with singing rooster going out forces of darkness. So, the sun symbolizes knowledge, justice, winner of all kinds of evil.
Christ called the Sun of Truth.
Sunlight - a symbol of unity and order in the world. It is also a symbol of sober and clear vision of justice.
The cross was the ancient symbol of sun, fire and soul. It is called the "God's Sign" in the ornament and is associated with the tree of life. Cross - is the intersection of two lines: the horizontal (time) and vertical (eternity) - the human will to the will of God. For a Christian cross is the beginning and the end, actually lives. Crucifixion was a symbol of suffering and joyful Resurrection. In Christianity, the cross - as a symbol of redemption from sin and death.
It originates from the schematic representation of a bird, the ancient sun seemed bird flying through the sky. There is also a symbol of the four winds, four winds, four seasons.
Two eight sided stars on pysanky eggs are the sign of the sun. In ancient times, the star is also associated with the Great Goddess, whose husband - a deity of the sky, the moon. The ancient image of the crescent symbolizes this star couple. In Ukrainian folklore bright star - a symbol of the girl, the moon - a symbol of guy. As Ukrainian ritual songs sung by the star as a maid-babe. At dawn she scatters through meadows and gardens silver and pearl dew.
Quite often the star is portrayed differently. Sometimes five- six- seven-, sided. Hexagonal star appeared in the early Neolithic. This six sign the horizon, but not correlated with the earth and the sky. It is also a sign of the year: the two halves of six months. The stars prevalent in traditional Ukrainian carving. Octagonal star is often present in Ukrainian embroidery and weaving products.