VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach family spent Friday afternoon decorating eggs to keep the tradition alive.
The art of decorating eggs is called Pysanky.
“It’s made with wax resist techniques,” Anna Makhorkina, Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association, said.
Makhorkina said it keeps her close to her mother country, Ukraine.
“It’s nostalgia and it’s my love for my mother country,” she said.
She and her family circle around the dinner table each year, spending hours decorating eggs. It’s a pretty tedious process that takes a couple of hours. You write on the egg with hot wax and continuously layer egg dye. Once done layering with wax and dye, you melt off the wax to reveal your work.
Behind each intricate design are more profound meanings.
“People were writing their hopes, prayers and beliefs,” Makhorkina said.
The different egg dye colors also have their own significance.
“Like white usually means purity and yellow is happiness and love is passion, love and hope,” she said.
Makhorkina said the art dates back to the Pegan times.
She said the tradition carries meaningful stories along.
“There is this legend, first of all, that as long as Pysanky is being made, evil is at bay,” Makhorkina said.
She said the legend fits with the times as Ukraine is trying to protect itself after a Russian invasion.
“Since last year, it brings me hope,” Makhorkina said.
That’s why she is making as many as possible.
“The more Pysanky are made, the tighter the chains are, and if they aren’t enough Pysanky, then chains get loose, and the monster gets loose and there is more evil in the world,” Makhorkina said.
Makhorkina continues to try to share the tradition, including with her kids and the Hampton Roads community.
She recently held a workshop for others to learn.
Makhorkina is planning another for later this year, but hasn’t nailed down a date.
She said the Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association would post it on Facebook page once they have a date.