A Pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word comes from the verb pysaty, "to write", as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. (from wikipedia). This image is of the world's largest pysanka. It was erected in Vegreville, Alberta in 1974, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Norway has to have my favorite Easter tradition. In Norway, in addition to staying in mountain cabins, cross-country skiing, and painting eggs, a contemporary tradition is to read or watch murder mysteries at Easter. All the major television channels run crime and detective stories, magazine stories where the readers can try to figure out "whodunnit", and new detective novels are scheduled for publishing before Easter. Even the milk cartons are altered for a couple of weeks. Each Easter a new short mystery story is printed on their sides. I couldn't find the origin on this tradition. One can only speculate.
Easter candy facts:
- Easter is the second top-selling confectionery holiday behind only Halloween.
- 88 percent of adults carry on the Easter tradition of creating Easter baskets for their kids.
- 76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.
- Red jelly beans are kids’ favorite.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter chocolate egg ever made was just over 25 feet high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.
Anyway, the aunts would head to the kitchen and finish up the Easter meal. Sometimes we barbecued, sometimes we had a ham. We always had "sweet rice" and my grandfather's green beans. Everyone would go outside for the egg hunt and the kids would finally get to look in our nests. It was always filled with lots of candy, at least one giant chocolate bunny and all the rest of the Easter prerequisites. The eggs we hunted were always the real thing—hard boiled and decorated with dyes. We were so excited to go look for them, though none of us ate hard boiled eggs. After we compared baskets and figured out who found the most we turned the eggs over to our mothers so they could work their magic on them. We might not eat plain hard boiled eggs but we all stuffed ourselves on the deviled eggs. I loved it when the dye worked it's way through the shell and died the egg itself.
My aunts would always go through all the eggs before peeling them and select the two prettiest eggs to take to my grandmother's aunt later that day. She was elderly and rarely left her house at that point so after the meal, we would pack up some leftovers and the winning eggs and go visit. Aunt Babe had a knick knack shelf in her dining area where she kept all the eggs we brought over the years. Some were old enough you could shake them and hear the powdered residue of it's contents still inside. Luckily, I don't think any were ever accidentally broken. The smell would have been much worse in her small house than it was out at the farm when we would finally come across those few eggs that had been forgotten outside in the hot Texas spring weather.
I always wished that the youngest of our cousins had been able to experience that time in our family history. After our grandfather passed away so many of our traditions died out and the younger ones were too small to remember any of them. We all celebrate separately now, with a watered down version of how it used to be. It is bittersweet. I am thankful every year when I am reminded of my childhood and a little sad that those days are gone.