Don't you just love Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky)? So colourful, so detailed, so exquisite, so full of ancient symbols celebrating Spring, fertility, culture and faith (with deep roots in paganism). And all created using melted beeswax and dyes.
My Rare One creates lovely pysanky and I too (as a major Ukrainian wannabe) have been known to turn out a few in years past. We blow out the raw eggs first, using a little hand pump attached to a long needle. Then it's an exercise in skill and patience to write on the eggs with a stylus of melted beeswax, dye them, apply more beeswax, dye them again, etc. As many layers as it takes!
The gorgeous egg is revealed once the ugly, blackened wax is melted off in a low, warm oven, just like Spring arrives following a long, hard Winter! After all that work, however, the egg can still break at this final stage if you forget to unplug the blow-hole's wax plug before putting it in the oven. (Steam will build up inside the egg and crack it.) It's heart-breaking but still, a valuable life lesson. "Never get too attached to an egg."
This Spring, I was really looking forward to attending the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts' Gigantic Pysanka Exhibition here in Edmonton featuring local, professional pysanky artists, but of course it got cancelled due to the pandemic.
However, the gallery operators made and posted a wonderful video of the exhibit instead! Now, I forewarn you -- the video is 25 minutes long but it does showcase all kinds of traditional and modern pysanky styles using all sizes and types of eggs -- chicken, duck, goose, pheasant, quail and ostrich! It's the next best thing to being at the actual exhibit. But feel free to turn off the soundtrack's churchy Ukrainian choral music if it gets on your nerves, like it did with My Rare One. Cultural loyalty only goes so far, you know.