The Pysanky Easter Egg has a beautiful tradition for the Ukrainian people! People across western and central Europe have kept this tradition for thousands of years. For the Ukrainian people it is a part of their folk lore. It has roots within the Orthodox Church for their Easter traditions. Since the war began close to six weeks ago, many Ukrainians across the world have engaged in the tradition of creating beautiful Pysanky Easter Eggs as therapy and as a way to support the war-torn country of Ukraine. Artist and instructor Anna Chychula told her class at the Art Institute of Chicago "....a pysanka is a hope. It is a prayer. It is a wish.”
"Arguably one of Ukraine’s most famous Easter traditions is their intricately decorated Easter eggs known as ‘pysanka’. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty which means “to write”. Creating pysanka is an extremely complicated endeavor and they are usually created during the last week of Lent. The smoothest and best-shaped eggs are used to make pysanka. A stylus is often used to ensure and perfect the clean lines and intricate patterns on the eggs. Pysanka are given to friends and loved ones to represent the gift of life, and are usually decorated to match the personality of the receiver." (https://ukrainianpeople.us/pysanka-ukrainian-easter-truditions/) Also, thanks to Jim Lyon, the Executive Director of Church of God Ministries for sharing this story in his video: "Easter, Eggs, and the Ukraine." It truly inspired me.
The Russian war against the Ukrainian people in 2022 has ignited waves of pysanky egg decorating around the globe, from church groups to classes to pysanky fundraisers, with the proceeds from egg sales helping Ukrainian relief efforts. The Facebook page Pysanky for Ukraine has more than 8,000 followers worldwide, many posting photos of their own eggs along with words of encouragement for those threatened or displaced by the war.
The Pysanky Easter Egg became a tradition within the Orthodox Church in Western Europe around 988 AD. It has been around much longer and has carried an assortment of meanings and traditions during the pre-Christian era as well. Still the significance for Christians is in the meaning of "new life" and "hope." Since this is certainly what the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is all about, it is clear why the tradition has carried great meaning for many Ukrainian Christians and those around the world who are reaching out to support them during this time of war horrors!
Many Christians in the US shy away from Easter traditions of the Easter Bunny and eggs. Yet, the concept of new life is fresh every spring with the warmth of spring and the cycle of new life in nature. All of these images may be interpreted by Christian believers to represent the significance of "new life" in Christ and in the promise and power of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior from the dead. Interestingly, President Rutherford B. Hayes 1878 started a tradition of rolling Easter eggs which found it's origin of the stone being rolled away at Jesus's tomb. Of course, it no longer carries that faith meaning; but I have always wondered why the White House would host an Easter Egg Roll instead of an Easter Egg Hunt. We observe the touches of the sacred all throughout our secular world. It is up to the faithful to remind the world of what the season of Easter is truly about: the empty tomb and more specifically God's power over death and resurrected life through Jesus Christ!
This is why for over 30 years I have been hosting a Resurrection Easter Egg Hunt! I want children who love to hunt for eggs filled with toys and candy to know the true meaning of Easter. My prayer is that no child with whom I have served will grow up believing Easter is about Peter Rabbit....Sorry Peter! So, once again I and my brave team in the Egg Hatchery of the Haviland Heritage Foundation are stuffing eggs with candy and toys that contain the message, "Jesus is Alive," and "He is Risen!" I want every child to know that God loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cross and rise again so that they can have life now and beyond for eternity.
If you have children and live in the Haviland, Kansas area, you are welcome to join us Saturday, April 16, 2022 at the Thresher Show Grounds for the "Resurrection Easter Egg" Hunt! You can bring your own basket or we have beautiful sacks that remind us that "Jesus Lives!"
Also, don't forget to check out the Facebook page, Pysanky for Ukraine! This is a great way to support our brothers and sisters from Ukraine and to pray over them the Resurrection into new life in Christ as well!
Blessings as we remember Christ's journey to the cross and the power of the Resurrection!