Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old World Easter Eggs

As a kid, one of my favorite parts of Easter was getting to make Easter eggs.  Sure, we did the whole Paas-makes-you-kitchen-smell-like-vinegar kind of eggs, with the bright colors and the shrink wrappers, and that was very fun and kid friendly.  But in my family, we also made old school Easter eggs.
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Even though we were Polish and not Ukranian, we always, as part of our Easter celebrations, made pysanky, or Ukranian Easter eggs.  I remember going to my grandma's house, across the street from ours, and seeing the jars full of dye, and being so excited.

The process of making these eggs involves using wax pens to make designs on the eggs, then putting them in dyes.  You color the eggs several different times, drawing with wax between colors, to get multicolored eggs.  The results are so beautiful.  My favorite part was sweating all the wax off the egg at the end, and seeing the gorgeous patterns emerge.
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When making pysanky, different colors and designs had different meanings.  But often, my grandma would just help us make patterns we found pretty.  She had several displays of eggs that sat out year round in her kitchen.  It was just such a fundamental part of who we were as a family.  My mom, grandma, and aunt even went around to several local Catholic Women's groups to teach them how to make pysanky.

Since my grandma passed away a few years ago, we have not made pysanky.  My mom and I talked about how we should teach my niece and nephew how to make them.  I was so excited when, during our trip to Baldinger's a while ago, I saw the supplies there, and was so excited to have a place to buy the stuff.



Unfortunately, our month has been, and will continue to be, so busy, that we just are not going to get to it this year.  But next year, Hubby and I will be making pysanky.