The Union County Heritage Museum is offering a class teaching the art of the Pysanka Egg, a Ukrainian folk art. The class is set March 31, 1 till 5 at the Museum Art House. This art form is traditionally done before Easter.
Denise Brown of New Albany will teach the class. She is an artist in multiple mediums, and a member of the Mississippi Craftsmen’s Guild.
One of Ukraine’s most famous Easter traditions is the psyanka, an intricately decorated Easter egg. The name derives from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty,” meaning “to write.” (“Pysanka” is the singular form; “pysanky” is plural.) This is a type of folk art from the Ukrainian culture.
In 988 AD when Ukraine accepted Christianity, the decorating of eggs took on a deep religious meaning. The pysanka commemorated the Resurrection of Christ, and a promise of eternal life. The pagan superstitions were replaced by religious beliefs and legends. It was originally associated with pagan rituals and superstitions.
The richly decorated eggs are never eaten. They are kept in the home from year to year as decorations. Friends exchange pysanky that have been blessed on Easter morning to represent the gift of life and to commemorate Christ’s teachings of peace and love.
To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life. In the Ukrainian culture everyone from the youngest to the oldest would receive an egg. A bowl full of the eggs were kept in every home. Some were put in the hen’s nests and near bee hives in hopes of a good harvest.
Using a wax resist method, the eggs are created before Easter. The smoothest and best-shaped eggs are used to make pysanka. A stylus is often used to ensure and perfect the clean lines and intricate patterns on the eggs. Pysanka are given to friends and are sometimes decorated to match the personality of the receiver.
The elements and colors on Ukrainian Easter eggs are rich with symbolic meaning, including the individual colors: yellow stands for youth and purity; red represents the joy and passion in life; green is the color of spring, which brings hope and renewal; and black suggests the darkest time before dawn, and the idea of eternity.”
To sign up for the class, in which space is limited, call the museum at 662-538-0014 or email email@example.com. The cost is $25 and includes all supplies.
Jill Smith, Director
Union County Heritage Museum
114 Cleveland Street
New Albany,MS 38652
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