In preparation for Easter, teachers of the Transcarpathian Regional Ecological and Naturalistic Center for Students Youth (TRENCSY) Olga Velychkanych and Hanna Andrus held a workshop on making Easter eggs for young people of the Ecological center and for children of Kharkiv State Agrotechnological University staff. Pysanka is one of the ancient forms of Ukrainian folk painting, a symbol of spring, sun, and the return of nature to life. Since the beginning of time, the egg, like the tree, was considered a symbol of spring awakening of nature, the birth of life, and procreation.
The period of spring arrival, which in ancient times was a real holiday for the farmer, in Ukraine falls in April or early May. And so in ancient times, boys and girls, old and young people went to the spring forest with songs and dances to celebrate the resurrection of nature, its revival, and prosperity. They glorified the life-giving power of the sun as the basis of life and honored one of the main symbols of this time – the egg, from which life was believed to have begun on Earth. The egg was painted with symbolic signs, which were later transformed into an ornament. And so the custom of making Easter eggs has arisen.
The Easter egg served as a talisman. This traditional function, as well as the oldest ornament, is partially preserved to this day: triangles, spirals, wedges, etc.- all these are signs of various rituals and sacred magical numbers. Old people say that as long as people write Easter eggs, there will be love in the world. Indeed, only great love can create such miracles of harmony and imagination. Each pysanka is a separate tiny world, a small miracle created by the hands of a folk genius. It was given as a sign of ceasefire, wishes of health, beauty, strength, and harvest, and was used as a prevention of natural disasters.
Who would have thought, that this tradition is thousands of years old? This spring, young craftswomen and craftsmen began preparations for the Easter holidays to make Easter eggs. At the beginning of the workshop, the children listened to information about the celebration of Easter in Ukraine and Transcarpathia, the types of Easter eggs, the meaning of the depicted symbols, and told about the traditions of preparation and celebration in their region.
Each of the participants of the workshop received an egg-shaped cardboard base, which he or she decorated with the symbols that he or she liked the most. Most of the children made Easter eggs for their mother, so they depicted symbols of charms, symbols of health and longevity, well-being, and love. Semolina, corn and pearl barley, rice, buckwheat, millet, and peas were used for decoration.
The participants worked amicably, creatively, and diligently. The children decorated the Easter tree with ready-made works, having previously made a mental wish that would like to come true for Easter. We think that most of the wishes were for peace, an end to the war as soon as possible and the return of families to their homes.
Olga Velychkanych, Head of the Department of Biology and Research and Experimental Work of TRENCSY.
The event was held in cooperation with the Transcarpathian Regional Ecological and Naturalistic Center of Students Youth and the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies (IERS) (headed by Alexander Bokotey) with the support of the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), project coordinator Ivan Tymofeiev.
Informational Service of IERS