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Exploring Ukrainian Easter Traditions

Easter is one of the biggest holidays in Ukraine, filled with many rich and colorful traditions that have been passed down through generations. Similar Easter traditions are also observed in other Eastern European countries. In Ukraine, some celebrate Easter on the same day as the Western Church, while others follow the Orthodox Church calendar and celebrate a week later.

Dyed Eggs

One of the most popular Easter traditions in Ukraine is the decoration of Easter eggs. There are two main types of Ukrainian Easter eggs: Pysanka and Krashanky. Pysanka eggs are created by first draining the contents of the egg, and then using hot wax to draw intricate designs on the eggshell before dyeing it. Krashanky, on the other hand, are usually one color and cooked to be eaten.

Ukrainian Pysanky Easter Eggs

Many Ukrainians wrap small herbs or leaves around the egg before dyeing, resulting in a detailed floral pattern. Some traditional egg-dyeing methods involve boiling eggs in the skins of onions or in beet juice. After the eggs are dyed, it is a common Ukrainian tradition to play a game where two people hit their eggs together, and the winner is the one whose egg does not crack.

Easter Basket

Families in Ukraine assemble Easter baskets filled with traditional foods, such as Paska bread, sausages, cheeses, horseradish, and a selection of fruits and vegetables. The baskets are then taken to church to be blessed.

Ukrainian Easter basket

Some churches even hold an all-night Easter vigil, which begins on Saturday evening and ends at dawn on Sunday. For added decoration, many people like to embroider a cloth to place over the contents of the basket.

Easter Greetings

A traditional Ukrainian Easter greeting is “Christ is Risen,” to which the response is “Christ is Risen Indeed.” This greeting is often repeated three times in a row, symbolizing the finding of the empty tomb.

It is common to exchange Easter greetings and wishes with family, friends, and neighbors during this holiday.

Easter Bread

A staple of Ukrainian Easter cuisine is Paska bread, a sweet and richly flavored bread that is often decorated with religious symbols or with designs made of dough. In addition to Paska, Ukrainians also enjoy other sweet Easter treats, such as Babka and Kulich.

These delicious foods are enjoyed as part of the Easter celebrations, which are a time for family, community, and spiritual reflection.

is seen as a remnant of the Soviet era and a way of diminishing Ukraine’s identity and sovereignty.

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