Celebrate Easter ~ Celebrate Spring
Beautiful decorated eggs have a long history.
“In pre-Christian days, eggs were associated with many different springtime rites,” says Lubow Wolynetz, curator of folk art at the Ukrainian Museum in New York City and the Ukrainian Museum and Library in Stamford, CT. “In Ukraine, for example, people were an agricultural society. A late or cold spring had an impact on crops, so people attempted to harness the power of the sun to bring about the resurrection of nature.”from CountryLiving.com
And what reminds you of the sun? An egg with its bright yellow center and the life that springs from it, says Wolynetz. Many cultures throughout Europe embraced the idea that eggs had life-giving associations. In Ukraine, people began the practice of “writing” the eggs, called pysanky (from the word pysaty, meaning “to write”). They adorned them with symbols such as the sun, a triangle, or lines that encircle the egg.
And just how are these beautiful eggs created?
Pysanky eggs are hand-drawn creations — first in pencil using guidelines to section off an egg into a grid pattern, and then with detail within the grid. Afterwards, pencil lines are covered with beeswax and layered with colors of dye, similar to the batik work done on fabric.from MarthaStewart.com
But the intricacy of the design is not what makes a pysanka beautiful. Even simple patterns can be just as striking as detailed ones. The key to a beautiful traditional pysanka is symmetry and precision (although symmetry does not always play a role in contemporary patterns). By precision, I mean that the design is drawn within a grid that has been laid out meticulously, usually with a tape measure. If a pysanky is only divided in half, each half will measure exactly the same. Similarly, in quadrants, each will measure exactly the same. The entire design, whether simple or detailed, depends on these first measurements to be exact. This is especially important if the egg will be very intricate!
The early spring tradition became a beautiful Easter tradition.
For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Painting Easter eggs is an especially beloved tradition in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where the eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal vigil and distributed to the congregants. The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Moreover, historically Christians would abstain from eating eggs and meat during Lent, and Easter was the first chance to eat eggs after a long period of abstinence. (Orthodox Christians continue to abstain from eggs during Lent.)from HuffPost.com
Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. An egg hunt involves hiding eggs outside for children to run around and find on Easter morning. Eggs are rolled as a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb. In the United States, the Easter Egg Roll is an annual event that is held on the White House lawn each Monday after Easter.
Visit our FB page and let us know what your Easter Egg Traditions might be. Do you hide eggs for the family to find on Easter morning? Is it a family event to color Easter eggs?
Be sure to stop by and see these beautiful pysanky eggs. We don’t have many, but they are beautiful. We’ll be watchin’ for ya!