Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore

open mike 04 Apr 10 - 10:49 PM
mousethief 04 Apr 10 - 11:44 PM
open mike 05 Apr 10 - 12:09 AM
mousethief 05 Apr 10 - 12:12 AM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 10 - 12:16 AM
Rob Naylor 05 Apr 10 - 04:03 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Apr 10 - 08:08 AM
Stringsinger 05 Apr 10 - 12:47 PM
open mike 05 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM
open mike 05 Apr 10 - 01:34 PM
katlaughing 05 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM
open mike 05 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: open mike
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 10:49 PM

My favoite activity around easter time is to decorate eggs in the Ukranian fashion.

ths tradition pre-dates Christianity, but also contains some elements
and symbols from the christian tradition now-a-days.

Eastre in Anglo-Saxon; Eostre in Northumbrian was the name of a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures.

In any case, whatever significance you find in these rites of spring,
here is a bit of information on the Ukranian eggs. the making of these eggs is thought to be important to keeping the balance of good in the world.

here is a cute video..http://www.ukrainianegg.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFKcJ92l2cA

http://stores.ebay.com/DuckDuckGoose

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/10-real-ukrainian-pysanky-easter-eggs-egg-2

I used to do these every year, and had a great collection of them

you use bees wax like Batik for a wax-resist method of dying...

including a video interview i made with an elderly Ukranian woman in

Oroville that i made for showing at Spring Valley school one year

when we had a special program studying Russian music, dance, arts and

crafts.her e is a map--the Ukraine in in russia.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/europe/ukraine/

I hope your day was a good one, whatever your belief system!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 11:44 PM

Of course they don't use the word "Easter" (or any cognates) in Ukraine.

Russian folklore has it that the first dyed egg was "made" by Mary Magdalene, who was (for whatever reason) on trial before Caesar. And she said something along the lines of, 'If Christ is risen from the dead, may this egg in my hand [she presumably carried eggs with her from time to time] turn red.' And of course it did or this would be a really crappy bit of folklore. But at any rate that's why we dye eggs red (in Russia, at least in the "old days" (before the Bolsheviks), Pascha eggs were always red).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: open mike
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 12:09 AM

probably died with beets...

does anyone else have favorite easter time stories?

it seems i recall a game where kids hit eggs together...
and the winner gets to eat the broken (hard boiled) eggs..

sometimes eggs are rolled, too? (where? how?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 12:12 AM

Actually the traditional Russian egg dye (we were told) uses onion skins. We tried it ourselves this year -- it's pretty amazing! The skins start brown but make a rich red dye.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 12:16 AM

Easter and Christmas are the times when I'm especially glad I married Polish. At church this morning, I boasted that I was having borscht and beer for Easter dinner, and the woman I was talking with boasted that she was having golumbeki (stuffed cabbage). I almost invited myself to her house for dinner, because I love golumbeki and my wife and mother-in-law didn't have the energy to make it this year. I once threatened to make golumbeki myself, but that suggestion was not deemed acceptable by the Polish people in the house.
So, the borsht was wonderful, with lots of horseradish, and with hard-boiled eggs and kielbasa sausage in the recipe.

My wife and her mother have some beautiful, painted wooden eggs that they bring out for easter. Are the wooden eggs authentic in tradition, or is it just a lazy way to have colorful eggs that you can keep from year to year?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:03 AM

Joe,

Slightly off topic, but:

On my visits to the USA, whenever I ask anyone where I can get Polish sausage, I'm invariably directed to "kielbasa" as if it's a *type* of sausage. Over here in the UK (and in Poland!), "kielbasa" is just a generic Polish word for "sausage". What I'm offered in the USA is almost always something similar to Wiejska, but not tasting like it's made with veal (which "real" Wiejska should contain).

In the UK, I can get dozens of different types of Polish sausage. The local "corner shop" at the top of our road, in this VERY "English" town, is about 12 feet wide by 20 feet deep yet always has in stock:

kiebasa Wiejska, kiebasa Krakowska, kielbasa Biaa, kielbasa Mysliwska, kielbasa Kabanosy, kielbasa Tuchowska, kielbasa Bydgoska, kielbasa Podrobowy, kielbasa Szynkowa Woowa

Plus several others (those are just types that I recall buying recently, off the top of my head). Can you actually get "real" Polish sausage ( ie named types rather than generic "sausage") in the USA? Parts of it have much bigger Polish communities than most of the UK, yet I'm always disappointed to get the reply "oh, you mean kielbasa" when I ask for Polish sausage, and ending up with something that's "not quite Wiejska".

Rob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:08 AM

Before the point fo this thraeds escapes - interesting point made by Mike at the top:

"My favoite activity around easter time is to decorate eggs in the Ukranian fashion.

ths tradition pre-dates Christianity, but also contains some elements
and symbols from the christian tradition now-a-days".

What evidence do you ahve that it predates Christianity?

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan l
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 12:47 PM

Don't forget the Roman goddess Astarte who predates the Christian Easter. Folklore
is a strong component of religious holidays.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: open mike
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM

I have been to multiple websites searching for Pysanky info.
Almost all state that the tradition pre-dates Christianity.
I have seen many references that state that the use of christian
symbols is a recent addition to the decorations. (cross, church,
triangles representing the trinity,)

I will try to re-visit some of these sites and find a quote.

Here is what i found in one document, compiled from many sources:

*******************************************************

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday. This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I know they seem to have originated in the Ukraine. Sophie Knab says that decorated eggs in Poland can be dated to the 1300s, as they appear in the story of a miracle occurring at St. Hedwig's tomb in that time. I want more documentation. Were they used in other Slavic countries? Also, Knab describes some flirting games associated with pisanki, and I'm interested in whether these are period. I'm also interested in the symbolism of the pysanky designs.

Due to the nature of the art form surviving specimens from period do
not exist as far as I know, (anyone has any other information and I would love to know). But I have secondary documentation of a gift to an English King in the 1100 or 1200's.

decorating eggs started in ancient Egypt and Persia...
the art form was pre 998 in the Ukraine...

However, a ceramic egg (which is labeled an Easter egg, although it could have been used for other purposes) was found in the Novgorod digs. No information about its decoration (if any) or its construction are given in my source (The Archaeology of Novogorod, Russia. The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series: no 13). From what I can figure, it was found in the 12th century
layers. I could have sworn that there was a mention of wooden eggs being found as well, but I can't seem to locate the cite anywhere.

Anecdotal evidence from the canonization hearings for St. Hedwig suggests that at the time that St. Hedwig was canonized (1267), colored eggs were used as grave offerings in Silesia, since the story related by Sophie Knab in Polish Traditions, Customs & Folklore says that a littel crippled boy regained his mobility chasing a colored egg at the tomb of St. Hedwig.

*****************************************************

from this site: http://www.eveseggs.com/history.html
The History of Pysanky

The word pysanky comes from an ancient Ukrainian word meaning "to write." The Ukrainian art of decorating Easter eggs (pysanky) has been around since before Christ. The earliest eggs were decorated with symbols to bring health, abundance and fertility to the family, their livestock and crops. With the widespread acceptance of Christianity in late 900 A.D., the pagan designs took on a religious significance. Modern pysanky can incorporate either religious or secular symbolism-- or neither.

**************************************

from this site: http://crafts.suite101.com/article.cfm/pysanky-ukrainian-egg-decorating-for-easter

The Ancient eastern European art is still practiced today. Traditionally given as Easter presents to young & old, pysanky eggs are the ultimate in decorated Easter eggs.

Because of the fragility of eggs, no ancient examples survive. Interestingly enough, ancient examples of porcelain eggs with similar decorations have been found. In 1978 a real egg pysanky was discovered from the late 1600s. Sadly, collections of pysanky in Russian museums did not survive war or the Soviets. Since Ukrainian independence in 1991, the art has been revived in the place it was born.

Pysanky Easter Eggs

Pysanky comes from the word pysaty that means to write. Designs are drawn into real eggs using beeswax and a tool known as a kista. Heated in the flame of a candle, the melted wax seals the egg from accepting the dye. Much like fabric batik, light dyes are used first, with subsequent wax layers and dye baths.

Dying eggs was a tradition long before the advent of Christ and Easter. The symbols decorating the eggs include pagan as well as Christian meanings. Pysanky eggs are a symbol of life eagerly adopted by Christians. Other eastern European groups that dye eggs include the Belarusians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Czechs, Lithuainians, Poles, Romanians, Slovaks, and Slovenes.

****************************************************

from this site:
http://www.celebratingeaster.com/crafts/egg-decorating/pysanky.aspx

Pysanky
For the truly artistic (and patient) egg decorator

Pysanky was engrained in Ukrainian Easter history well before the birth of Jesus Christ. Because the egg is so fragile, there are no actual examples of the art in its earliest forms, but it is well documented that the art was first a form of sun worship. Ukrainians would paint these fragile and precious orbs with signs depicting the blessings they hoped for, and then offer them up to the sun. It wasn't until the year AD 988 that Christianity was officially accepted in the Ukraine and Pysanky became "Christianized." Many ancient symbols are now used in conjunction with Christian symbols, to affect a range of stunning symmetries.

*********************************************

http://www.doityourself.com/video/What-is-Pysanky-170895332

Video Transcript
Rebecca: This ancient Ukrainian art form starts as a gift to spread goodness to different households. Hi, I'm Rebecca Britney, and welcome to watchmojo.com. And today, we'll be looking at the pysanky. So can you tell us about the history of the pysanky?
Christine: The pysanky started before Jesus Christ, before Christianity came into Ukraine. It starts with the pagan time. The egg was a symbol of rebirth during the spring time. It so happens that easter is around the spring time. So when Christianity came into Ukraine, it was almost, actually very normal to offer eggs because it was still the symbol of rebirth and life.
Rebecca: Can you outline the tools and supplies that you need to use to start making the pysanky.
Christine: A kyska, which is, if you translate the word kyska, it means bone. But it was a slightly different type of tool in the olden days. It was a wood tool with a copper funnel at the end. We used bees wax. And of course we need raw eggs, and of course we have our dyes which are here. These are called analin dyes, they come in a powder solution and we dilute them with hot boiling water.
Rebecca: So, how do you come up with the designs?
Christine: You can create one egg from that egg, you like the design, you change a little bit something else and then you create another egg. There is a trend for the designs where there are usually more traditional and what I mean about traditional is we don't see bunny rabbits and we don't see things like that, it's more of a religious side of easter which we see. We see more crosses, birds, fishes, everything is symbolic. So our designs are all symbolic. Animals such as deer, horses, they're all symbol of good health, the never ending line around the egg which is a symbol of eternity. White is purity, black is eternal life. The word pysanka, or pysatte, because it comes from the verb pysatte, the verb pysatte means to write. So we're not painting, we're not coloring, we are writing a design, we are writing a message and when you write a message, you are wishing somebody good health, wealth, prosperity.

************************************************

from this site: http://www.ukrainianmuseum.org/

In attempting to understand creation, ancient people developed myths in which the egg was perceived as the source of life, the sun, and the universe.

The Ukrainian pysanka (plural: pysanky) was believed to possess enormous power, not only in the egg itself (which harbored the nucleus of life), but also in the symbolic designs and colors drawn on the egg in a specific manner, according to prescribed rituals. Pysanky were used for various social and religious occasions and were considered to be a talisman, a protection against evil, as well as harbingers of good.

The symbolic ornamentation of the pysanka consists mainly of geometric motifs, with some animal and plant elements. The most important motif is the stylized symbol of the sun, which is represented as a broken cross, a swastika (an ancient Sanskrit symbol), a triangle, an eight-point rosette, or a star. Other popular motifs are endless lines, stylized flowers, leaves, the tree of life, and some animal figures such as horses, stags, and birds. The influence of Christianity introduced such elements as crosses, churches, and fish.

It took a long time for the Ukrainian pysanka to develop and achieve perfection. Although contemporary artisans continue to employ ancient symbols and traditional colors on the egg, the pysanka is no longer considered to be a talisman, just a beautiful folk art object.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: open mike
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:34 PM

more references to pre-christian Ukranian traditions, symbols, myths:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pysanka

The art of the decorated egg in Ukraine, or the pysanka, probably dates back to ancient times. No actual ancient examples exist, as eggshells are fragile.

As in many ancient cultures, Ukrainians worshipped a sun god (Dazhboh). The sun was important - it warmed the earth and thus was a source of all life. Eggs decorated with nature symbols became an integral part of spring rituals, serving as benevolent talismans.

In pre-Christian times, Dazhboh was one of the main deities in the Slavic pantheon; birds were the sun god's chosen creations, for they were the only ones who could get near him. Humans could not catch the birds, but they did manage to obtain the eggs the birds laid. Thus, the eggs were magical objects, a source of life. The egg was also honored during rite-of-Spring festivals––it represented the rebirth of the earth. The long, hard winter was over; the earth burst forth and was reborn just as the egg miraculously burst forth with life. The egg, therefore, was believed to have special powers.

With the advent of Christianity, via a process of religious syncretism, the symbolism of the egg was changed to represent, not nature's rebirth, but the rebirth of man. Christians embraced the egg symbol and likened it to the tomb from which Christ rose. With the acceptance of Christianity in 988, the decorated pysanka, in time, was adapted to play an important role in Ukrainian rituals of the new religion. Many symbols of the old sun worship survived and were adapted to represent Easter and Christ's Resurrection.

In modern times, the art of the pysanka was carried abroad by Ukrainian emigrants to North and South America, where the custom took hold, and concurrently banished in Ukraine by the Soviet regime (as a religious practice), where it was nearly forgotten. Museum collections were destroyed both by war and by Soviet cadres. Since Ukrainian Independence in 1991, there has been a rebirth of the art in its homeland.

************************************

found here: http://www.uazone.net/holidays/EasterEggs.html

The Symbolism of the Ukrainian Easter Egg.
Adapted from the original story of Sofia Zielyk.

Ukrainian Easter eggs embody a myriad of symbolism: the symbolism of the egg itself, the symbolism of design and the symbolism of design and the symbolism of color. Why is it that the egg became one of the most important elements in the system of pagan beliefs? It is not difficult to understand. After all the egg is a symbol of birth – it is the origin of life. It is the power of the egg to create a new life that made it so mysterious to pagan believers, who thus incorporated it into their various rituals.

The egg yolk reminded them of the sun, which was regarded as the most powerful natural element. According to one legend birds were the favorite creatures of the sun god because they alone could soar into the heavens. People, being mere mortals, could not fly, but they could collect eggs, which they associated with the all-powerful sun god. In addition to this, the egg produced a rooster who they believed had the power to summon the sun every morning. With the advent of Christianity to Ukraine the egg became an important part of the Easter ritual associated with the new religion and many legends handed down throughout the ages relates the story of the origin of Easter eggs. When Christ was dying on the cross blood flowing from his many wounds fell on the ground. Wherever a drop fell a red Easter egg was created. Christ's mother, Mary, was standing beneath his cross praying and crying. Those red Easter eggs on which her tear would land, in turn, became elaborately decorated Easter eggs. Mary gathered all the eggs into a kerchief and went to Pontius Pilate to ask for permission to bury her son. On her way there she gave an Easter egg to each child she met, along with the admonition to live in peace. Arriving a the palace of Pilate, Mary fainted and the Easter eggs from her kerchief rolled all over the world, from that day on people everywhere decorate eggs at Easter time and give them to each other as an expression of love and peace. Thus in Ukrainian folklore a pagan ritual was incorporated into Christianity.

The symbols, which decorated pagan eggs, underwent a similar process of adaptation to the new religion. In pagan times these symbols imbued an egg with magical powers to ward off evil spirits, guarantee a good harvest and bring a person good luck. While the pagan spring ritual celebrated a new beginning for the earth after a cold winter, the Christian holiday of Easter celebrates a new life for people's souls and their redemption through the process of Lenten fasting and Christ's resurrection. The symbols and ornaments on the eggs didn't change; what changed was simply their interpretation.

Among the oldest and most important symbols of Easter egg is the sun and the simplest rendering of the sun is a closed circle with or without rays. Easter eggs from all regions of Ukraine also depict an eight-sided star, which in the past was a symbol of the sun. The swastika or as it was called "a broken cross" or "ducks necks" represented the sun in pagan times. Those eggs were said to have been especially powerful talisman because they could protect the owner from sickness, bad luck and the evil eye. Easter eggs however, were imbued with the power not only to protect individuals from harm but also to protect and preserve the human race. One legend says that in a faraway cave lives a monster, which is the embodiment of evil. He is chained to a rock with twelve chains. From his prison the monster sends his henchmen all over the earth and upon their return he asks them: "Are people living in peace?" "Do children respect their parents?" If people fight and don't respect their parents the monster rejoices – they are his people." Do they still make Easter eggs?" he asks. If the answer is yes, he rages, while his chains are tightened and his evil powers falter. It is said that while people live in peace, respect their parents, and make Easter eggs, the evil monster will remain chained to the rock. When people stop making Easter eggs he will be set free and evil will rule the earth.

Women who painted Easter eggs drew their inspiration from the world of nature, depicting flowers, trees, fruits, leaves and whole plants in the highly stylized fashion. Such ornaments symbolized the rebirth of nature after winter; thus Easter eggs with plant motifs were guarantee of a good harvest. The most popular floral design is a plant in a vase of standing on its own, which symbolized the tree of life. The cherry, a symbol of feminine beauty, was supposed to bring happiness and love. Easter eggs created by the mountain people of the Hutsul region of Ukraine often showed a stylized fir tree branch, a symbol of youth and eternal life. Grapes represented brotherhood, goodwill and long-lived and faithful love. An Easter egg with an apple or plum motif was thought to bring knowledge and health. Among the flowers depicted on Easter eggs were roses, sunflowers, tulips, carnations, periwinkle and lily-of-the-valley. They were all intended to help nature blossom and thrive.

Although animal motifs are not as popular as plant motifs, they are nevertheless found on Easter eggs, especially those of the people of the Carpathian Mountains. Such symbols had a double function: they were intended to endow the owner with the best characteristics of a given animal such as health and strength; at the same time they were supposed to ensure animals with a long and productive life. Deer, rams, horses, fish and birds were depicted in the abstract; sometime women simply drew parts of animals: ducks necks, rabbits ears, chicken feet, rams horns, wolfs teeth, bear claws and bulls eyes. Horses were popular ornaments because they symbolized strength and endurance. Similarly, deer deigns were very prevalent as they were intended to bring prosperity and log life. Birds were considered the harbingers of spring thus they were a commonplace Easter egg motif. Even insects had their place in Ukrainian Easter egg traditions. Spiders symbolized perseverance, patience and artistic talent. The butterfly is a symbol of a carefree childhood, as well as the journey of the soul into eternal happiness.

The most popular Easter egg sidings are geometric figures. The egg itself is most often divided by straight lines into squares, triangles and other shapes. These shapes are then filled with other forms and designs. One interesting adaptation of the geometric design is the ornament called "forty triangles", became a symbol of the forty days of lent, the forty martyrs, or the forty days that Christ spent in the desert. Among other popular geometric designs are the ladder (symbolizing man's search for happiness), a sieve (symbolizing the separation of good and evil), the basket (symbolizing motherhood and knowledge), a double line depicting a path (symbolizing eternity). The so-called "meander" or eternal line motif is one of the most popular in Ukrainian Easter Egg painting. This motif owes its popularity to an interesting legend. The meander on an Easter egg has no beginning and no end thus an evil spirit which happens to enter a house and land on the egg is trapped forever and will never other the residents again.

There is a whole host of pagan symbols, which were adapted in accordance with the new Christian faith. Dots, which once represented stars or cuckoo birds eggs (a symbol of spring) became symbols of the tears of the blessed Virgin. The fish, originally a symbol of health, came to symbolize Jesus Christ, the fisherman, the cross which in pagan times represented the four sides of the earth, now took on the triad of earth, wind and fire now depicted the Holy Trinity.

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the oldest ornaments found on Ukrainian Easter eggs – the goddess Beregynia, a matriarchal symbol. She was the goddess of life and fertility, mother of all living things. On Easter eggs she is usually depicted as a woman with upraised arms.

It is not only ornaments on Easter eggs which carry symbolic weight; colors also make a difference. Every area of Ukraine had its specific color combination; although the oldest Easter eggs were simply two-toned, our pagan ancestors believed that the more colors on a decorated egg the more magical powers it held and could thus bring the owner a better fate.

****************************************
http://web.mac.com/lubap/PYSANKY/Pysanka_Home.html
What is a pysanka?


Simply put, it is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist method. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb "pysaty," meaning "to write." ("Pysanka" is the singular form; "pysanky" is plural.)


But it is much more than that. Ukrainians have been decorating eggs, creating these small jewels, for many generations. There is a ritualistic element involved, magical thinking, a calling out to the gods and goddesses for health, fertility, love, and wealth. There is a yearning for eternity, for the sun and stars, for whatever gods that may be.


The design motifs date back to pre-Christian times, and some harken to the days of the Trypillians, my neolithic ancestors. A triangle that once spoke of the three elements, earth, fire and air, now celebrates the Christian Holy Trinity. The cross which depicted the four cardinal directions is now the symbol of the risen Christ. Sun and star symbols once referred to Dazhboh, the sun god, and now refer to the one Christian God. Grapes, which had a bacchanalian meaning in old times, now more soberly refer to holy communion, to transubstantiation. And the fish, which spoke of a plentiful catch and a full stomach, now stands in for Christ, the fisher of men.

**************************************************
and, last (but not least) this site has Ukranian historical info:

http://realukraine.info/ukrainian-easter-egg/

The art of the decorated egg, or the pysanka (from the Ukrainian verb pysaty, to write), dates back to pagan times, around 4000 B.C. Folk tales reveal that the people who lived in the region now known as Ukraine worshiped the sun. It warmed the earth and thus, was a source of all life. Eggs decorated with nature symbols were chosen for sun worship ceremonies and became an integral part of spring rituals, serving as benevolent talismans.

With the acceptance of Christianity in 988, the decorated pysanka (plural – pysanky) continued to play an important role in Ukrainian rituals of the new religion. Many symbols of the old sun worship survived and were adapted to represent Easter and Christ's Resurrection.

A pagan legend maintains that the sun god was the most important of all the deities; birds were the sun god's chosen creations for they were the only ones who could get near him. Humans could not catch the birds, but they did manage to obtain the eggs the birds laid Thus, the eggs were magical objects, a source of life.

The Hutsuls – Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine believe that the fate of the world depends upon the pysanka. As long as the egg decorating custom continues, the world will exist. If for any reason this custom is abandoned, evil in the shape of a horrible serpent who is forever chained to a cliff – will overrun the world Each year the serpent sends out his minions to see how many pysanky have been created If the number is low, the serpents' chains are loosened and he is free to wander the earth causing havoc and destruction. If on the other hand, the number of pysanky has increased, the chains are tightened and good triumphs over evil forget another year.

Throughout the centuries, various symbols on the pysanky took on different meanings. Symbols found on the pysanka, which is created using a batik (wax-dye) method, include wheat, which signifies health, flowers and birds, which stand for happiness and spring; the triangle, which in pagan times meant air, fire, water and in Christian times took on the meaning of the Holy Trinity. Hens and chickens symbolize fertility, roosters are identified with masculinity and strength, as are oak leaves. Deer are strength and prosperity; fish are also symbols of prosperity and Christianity, while infinite lines signify eternity.

It has been said that older people should receive pysanky with darker colors and/or rich designs, for their life has already been filled. It is appropriate to give young people pysanky with white as the predominant color because their life is still a blank page.

Girls should never give their boyfriends pysanky that have no design on the top and bottom on the egg- the baldness on either end signifies that the boyfriend will soon loose his hair.

Pysanka is often taken to mean any type of decorated egg, but it specifically refers to eggs created by the written-wax batik method. Several types of decorated eggs are seen in Ukrainian tradition, and these vary throughout the regions of Ukraine.

    * Krashanky are boiled eggs dyed a single color (with vegetable dyes), and are blessed and eaten at Easter.
    * Pysanky (from pysaty, "to write") are raw eggs created with the wax-resist method (batik). The designs are "written" in hot wax with a stylus or a pin-head. Wooden eggs and beaded eggs are often referred to as "pysanky" because they mimic the decorative style of pysanky in a different medium.
    * Krapanky (from krapka, "a dot") are raw eggs decorated using the wax-resist method, but with only dots as ornamentation (no symbols or other drawings)
    * Dryapanky (from dryapaty, "to scratch") are created by scratching the surface of a dyed egg to reveal the white shell below.
    * Malyovanky (from malyuvaty, "to paint") are created by painting or coloring (e.g. with a marker) on an egg.
    * Lystovanky (from lystya, "leaves") are created by dyeing an egg to which small leaves have been attached.

All but the krashanky are usually meant to be decorative (as opposed to edible), and the egg yolk and white are either allowed to dry up over time, or removed by blowing them out through a small hole in the egg. Some of the others, most notably the krapanky, are referred to by some as "pysanky", but that is not the correct usage of the term.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM

OM, all of that is most interesting. Thank you!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: open mike
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM

hope i didn't "max" out the server with such long posts...
I have been chasing these links looking for design ideas..
glad you enjoyed them.

hope you had a happy easter...and that Morgan did too!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Easter Traditions and Eostre pagan lore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM

If it's folklore or music, there's no limit on copy-paste messages - and this one was particularly interesting.

Evangelical Christians have a problem with practices that have pagan roots. Progressive Christians aren't hesitant to admit that many of our richest traditions have pagan roots. I suppose some neopagans have questions who adapt practices that were originally pagan, but why not? Don't we all come from non-Christian roots, and must we abandon the good parts of our past when we change religion?

I was also wondering about eggs that have been emptied of their contents and then carved or otherwise decorated - how old a tradition is that?

Rob Naylor, you can find a variety of Polish and German sausages in the larger cities of the Midwest US. The factory-made kielbasa I get here in California is (regrettably) nothing like what I grew up with in the Milwaukee area. I do have to admit that Johnsonville makes a variety of bratwurst that compare well to the brats I grew up with. Johnsonville distributes bratwurst widely throughout the US.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 August 2:11 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.