Ukrainian Easter Eggs – Transcript
A pisanka is a Polish-Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional folk designs. The designs are made using a method of applying hot wax to the shell. The word pisanka means “to write” or “to inscribe,” as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax.
Many superstitions were attached to the eggs. They were thought to protect households from evil spirits, catastrophe, lightning and fires. Eggs with spiral motifs were the most powerful, as the demons would be trapped within the spirals forever.
There are many superstitions regarding the colors and designs on the eggs. One old Ukrainian myth centers on the wisdom of giving older people eggs with darker colors and rich designs, for their life has already been filled. Similarly, it is appropriate to give young people eggs with white as the predominant color because their life is still a blank page. Girls would often give eggs to young men they fancied, and include heart motifs. It is said that a girl should never give her boyfriend an egg that has no design on the top and bottom, as this might signify that the boyfriend would soon lose his hair.