Monday, April 25, 2011

Pisanki, kraszanki, malowanki - decorating Polish Easter eggs

In many regions of Poland decorating Easter eggs became an art.
The most common name for an Easter egg in Poland is "Pisanka" ("Pisanki" in plural).
This name comes from a verb "pisać" which means "to write". "Pisanki" are created by coating eggs with a wax design followed by dyeing. Although, it is very common to use the name "Pisanki", there are various names describing Easter eggs, which are corresponding with a method being used to decorate them.
At my parents' home we would use natural materials, such as onion peels, to color our eggs into brown or dark red color. Eggs colored this way are called "kraszanki" (from a verb "krasić" - "to dye", "to decorate"). Once this step was completed, we would scratch on them different designs using a needle. Eggs decorated this way are called "drapanki" or "skrobanki" (from verbs "drapać" and  "skrobać" - "to scratch").
The other types of Easter eggs include also "malowanki" 
(v. "malować" - "to paint"and "wyklejanki" (v. "wyklejać" - "to stick on"). 

As I was writing this blog post, I realized that it might serve a purpose of learning some Polish vocabulary and I hope, it did. :-)

Here is a YouTube video which explains really well various techniques of decorating eggs in different regions of  Poland. Happy watching!

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