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LEGENDS OF THE UKRAINIAN EASTER EGGS

OF THE VARIOUS TYPES OF EASTER EGGS OF THE UKRAINE, THE PYSANKA AND
THE KRASHANKA ARE THE MOST WIDELY KNOWN. KRASHANKA IS FROM THE WORD
KRASKA WHICH MEANS COLOR. THE KRASHANKA IS A HARD-BOILED EGG WHICH
IS DYED A SOLID COLOR, AND MAY BE EATEN. THE PYSANKA STEMS FROM
THE VERB PYSATY, WHICH MEANS TO WRITE, AS THE DESIGNS ARE ACTUALLY
WRITTEN ON THE EGG, WHICH IS DYED IN SEVERAL COLORS. BUT UNLIKE
THE KRASHANKA THE PYSANKY ARE RAW AND NOT EATEN. IF A WOMAN IS
CHILDLESS AND DESIRES A CHILD. SHE WOULD BE GIVEN AN EGG DECORATED
WITH A CHICKEN, THE SIGN OF A FERTILE CREATURE, AND HOPEFULLY HER
FAMILY WOULD GROW. IT WAS THOUGHT TO BE THE MAN'S FAULT AFTER
THAT. TO HELP THE MAN HE WAS GIVEN AN EGG WITH A PATTERN OF
ROOSTERS. TO HELP OLDER MEN, WHO WERE GOING DOWN HILL WHEN IT
CAME TO THEIR VIGOR, THEY
WERE GIVEN AN EGG DECORATED WITH OAK LEAVES.
AS CHRISTIANITY CAME TO THE UKRAINE SO DID SOME MORE LEGENDS.
THE HUTZELS FROM WESTERN UKRAINE TELL A STORY THAT THE VIRGIN
MARY FILLED HER APRON WITH EGGS, AND WHEN SHE APPEARED BEFORE
PONTIUS PILATE TO PLEAD FOR HER SON, SHE DROPPED TO HER KNEES AND
THE EGGS ROLLED OUT OVER THE SURFACE OF THE WORLD UNTIL THEY WERE
DISTRIBUTED AMONG ALL NATIONS. IN ANOTHER STORY, MARY IS SAID TO
HAVE FILLED A BASKET WITH EGGS WHICH SHE CARRIED TO THE SOLDIERS
SITTING AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. THERE SHE LEFT IT. AFTER A
TIME, THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST FLOWED DOWN, STAINING THE EGGS WITH
THEIR CHARACTERISTIC COLOR. THE UKRAINIAN EASTER EGGS ALSO
ANSWER THE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD. AS LONG AS THE PYSANKY TRADITION
REMAINS, AND EGGS CONTINUE TO BE DECORATED, THE WORLD WILL EXIST.
SHOULD THE CUSTOM CEASE, EVIL WILL ENCOMPASS AND DESTROY THE WORLD.
THIS IS BECAUSE AN ANCIENT, VICIOUS CREATURE IS HEAVILY CHAINED
AGAINST A HUGE CLIFF AND EACH YEAR SERVANTS OF THE CREATURE GO OUT
ABOUT THE WORLD AND TAKE COUNT HOW MANY PYSANKY ARE DECORATED IN
THE WORLD. WHEN THERE ARE FEW PYSANKY THE CREATURE'S CHAINS LOOSEN
AND EVIL BEGINS TO FLOW THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. SHOULD THE SERVANTS
FIND THE CUSTOM OF DECORATING EGGS BEING PRACTICED WIDELY THEN THE
CHAINS OF THE MONSTER TIGHTEN, ALLOWING LOVE TO CONQUER EVIL.
PEASANTS PLACED KRASHANKA SHELLS IN THE THATCHED ROOFS OF THEIR
HOMES AND UNDER HAY MOUNDS TO TURN AWAY HIGH WINDS. BEEKEEPERS
PUT THEM UNDER HIVES FOR A GOOD SUPPLY OF HONEY. A KRASHANKA,
BLESSED ON EASTER EVE, WAS SUSPENDED ON A STRING FROM THE NECK
OF AN ILL PERSON, OR TOUCHED TO INFECTED AREAS ON PERSONS SUFFERING
FROM BLOOD POISONING TO EFFECT A CURE.

Submitter comment: FERTILITY SYMBOLS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
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