Wednesday, March 2, 2011

UNIT 7, Decorated Eggs-pysankas

The tradition began when Mary gave the emperor a humble white egg, as was custom to give gifts, saying, “The Christ has risen!” The emperor expressed his disbelief, “Nobody can rise from the dead ….. this is as hard to believe as it is to believe this egg can turn red!” At once the egg became red, and since that time eggs serve as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, the victory of life over death.

The tradition to paint eggs in the Ukraine dates back to pagan times when people performed magic rituals connected with nature awakening each Spring. After Christianity was introduced into the Ukraine, the tradition continued, assimilating magical beliefs from the past. Ukrainians believed that blessed eggs could help to put out fire or to find lost cattle.

Traditional Ukrainian eggs or pysankas are painted on birds eggs using hot wax. First, the wax is laid on the egg by means of a small metal tube with a wooden handle, making a contour. Then, an egg is dipped into one color, again covered by wax in parts which should preserve that color and then put into another color. When the egg painting is finished, the egg is warmed to melt the wax. Each color and pattern has different meanings.

No comments: