Pysanky Egg Dyeing on Holy Saturday

Finished Pysanky Eggs

A handful of people came together in Gathering Room on April 15, Holy Saturday, to create pysanky eggs, in the ancient Ukranian tradition of decorating Easter eggs.

The day began with the reading of Chicken Sunday, a children’s storybook written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. In the story three neighborhood friends decorate and sell pysanky eggs to earn money so that they can buy an Easter hat for a beloved grandma.

Applying the wax

Next, David gave instructions on the process of decorating eggs using a kitska, a writing tool which dispenses warmed bees wax onto the egg. Then eggs were dyed starting with the lightest color dye, adding wax after each dying, and ending with the darkest dye. Participants chose their designs from the many examples available or created their own. We all worked at our own pace; some decorating several eggs throughout the morning and afternoon.

Using a kitska

The most exciting part of the process happens when the design is complete and the final dye is dry. The wax on the egg is slowly melted and wiped off revealing the glorious pattern of colors that have been preserved by the wax relief process.

Removing the wax

The eggs used for decorating had all been blown out so we ate a hearty egg casserole for lunch.

Join us next year

We hope to offer this event again next year. Look for an announcement on the Hermitage calendar sometime in February.