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Easter Traditions

I’ve been writing Ukrainian Easter eggs. They’re called pysanky (pronounced py-san-KY), from the word pysaty (py-SAH-ty), which means “to write.” That’s why you “write” pysanky; you don’t paint them. (The y is pronounced like the u in the word business. And a single one is called a PY-san-kah.)

I made up some of my own designs and copied some from books. I didn’t turn out any masterpieces, but it was fun!

This year, I focused on designs from two regions. The designs from Sokal’, the region my maternal grandfather was from, were often gold, red and black.

Pysanky from Sokal’shchyna.

Traditional embroidery from this area also uses these colours, although Sokal’ is also known for its beautiful and intricate all-black embroidery motifs.

This pysanka from the Sokal’ region is called “duck feet.”

“Duck feet” pysanka from the Sokal’ region of Ukraine.

I also did some pysanky from Podillia, where the rest of my family was from.

Pysanky from Podillia.

These two are “pine trees.”

“Pine tree” pysanka motif from the Podillia region.

And this one is called “little boots,” but I’m not sure why.

“Little boot” pysanka from Podillia.

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