Pysanky

Anything surviving the hardships of early pioneering days and then emerging into a thing of beauty today must be an art worth preserving. Canadians of Ukrainian background inherited the fine art of writing pysanky from their parents who preserved and developed Easter-egg writing to the point where it occupies an exceptional place in contrast to other arts, and is fast gaining popularity throughout the whole of North America. Archaeological excavations in Ukraine show that the making of pysanky was practised several thousand years before the Christian era, when eggs symbolized the release of the earth from the shackles of winter and the coming of spring with its promise of new hope, new life and prosperity. Since the advent of Christianity, however, Easter eggs symbolize the Resurrection and a promise of eternal life. Legend has it that as long as pysanky are decorated, goodness will prevail over evil throughout the world. The current use of some motifs that were predominant in Neolithic times is proof of the continuity of an ancient cherished tradition. (Excerpt from Ukrainian Canadiana, published by the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada, Edmonton Alberta, 1976).