This year Easter Sunday falls on April 16th on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars, so let’s take a look at one of my favorite traditions from my childhood in Ukraine – the Krashanky!
This traditional Ukrainian process of dyeing the eggs is fairly simple, but it’s not easy! It requires an incredibly steady hand and years of practice to master the complex designs.
A design is applied to the egg with beeswax using a “Kistka” to act as a masking fluid while the egg goes through a series of dye baths, starting with the lightest color. When the dyes are dry, the wax is removed to reveal the final design!
Watch a quick tutorial here: How to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs!
There are lots of new tools available now to make the process easier, such as electric Kistkas to keep the wax warm, and a huge variety of dyes in every color, but when I was a kid we kept it simple applying wax with a needle and using onion & beet as dye. I didn’t have the patience then to practice elaborate designs, and mostly stuck to simple lines and polka dots, but I’ve always admired the traditional eggs full of intricate geometric patterns, or the beautiful petrykivka designs.
I also love how easily this very old practice can flow between traditional religious imagery and very modern, even minimal designs, without losing its character. For more inspiring examples, check out this pinterest collection of my favorite eggs!
Alex Koretski, Designer