Ukrainian Easter egg decorating in Rochdale

Date published: 19 March 2024

Recently displaced Ukrainian adults and children escaping from the Russian war against Ukraine were amongst those who took part in a traditional Easter Egg decorating event at Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Rochdale on Saturday 2 March.

The intricate Ukranian craft called Pysanky was banned in Ukraine by Stalin in the 1940s and it wasn’t until Ukrainian independence in 1991 that this art in Ukraine was reborn countrywide and now with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Easter egg is bringing more people together.

The event was organised by the Rochdale branch of the Ukrainian Youth Association, chaired by Maria Kopczyk who herself spends much time in producing some wonderful Easter egg designs and teaches and supports others to follow in her footsteps. There was a good attendance with both the older and younger generation taking part, producing some colourful and exciting creations.


Maria Kopczyk and Peter Duczak from the Ukrainian Youth Association with some completed 'Pysanky'
Maria Kopczyk and Peter Duczak from the Ukrainian Youth Association with some completed 'Pysanky'


The name Pysanky comes from the verb ‘pysaty’ which means to write rather than painting the designs on, as the method of decorating them uses a wax-resist method and the designs are written on to the eggs using a stylus dipped in beeswax. The history of the ‘Pysanka’ originates from pagan times, still retaining some of its symbols but this has developed into Christian motifs and designs too and the designs and colours all have symbolic meanings.

The art was brought over from Ukraine after the Second World War by the parents of the current British born Ukrainians where it has continued. Their legacy is what keeps this tradition alive now and continues with the younger generation too.


Ukrainian Easter egg decorating


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