For Easter, Ukrainians make pysanky – Easter eggs decorated with the batik method. It’s a tradition that goes back to ancient times and is found in many Eastern European nations. In Ukraine, it’s so popular that there is even a pysanka museum in the city of Kolomyia. Like many other Ukrainian traditions, pysanka art has pre-Christian roots, representing the rebirth of the earth, and the designs laboriously painted on the fragile egg shell have meanings going back millennia. With the advent of Christianity, the pysanka came to represent the Resurrection of Christ and rebirth of man and played an important role in Ukrainian religious traditions. Like many other religious customs, the tradition was banished in the Soviet times of state-enforced atheism and crackdown on the Church, with museum collections being destroyed. However, the practice was carried to North and South America by Ukrainian emigrants, where pysanka schools exist today, and has experienced a rebirth since 1991, with a renewal of interest towards preserving and interpreting the traditional designs.
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