St. Job Orthodox Church Offers Pysanky Egg Decorating Class

An artist creats a decorated egg using the pysanky technique. Courtesy photo

St. Job News:

Saint Job Orthodox Church is hosting a workshop on one of the most beloved Easter traditions-pysanky; a Slavic tradition of painting and decorating eggs.

The workshop is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 28 at the church at 2270 39th St. The cost is $20 and space is limited to 20 participants.

Pysanky, alternatively spelled psanki, is a Slavic tradition dating back more than 1,000 years. The tradition involves decorating eggs using bright, bold colors divided by clear geometric lines and patterns. Melted wax is used to mask different parts of the egg so as to let the white of the shell or previously applied colors to show through.

One of the most wide-spread and beloved traditions surrounding the celebration of Easter is the colored Easter egg. The egg itself is a symbol of new life and thus represents the lessons of Easter or, in the Eastern traditions, Pascha, on which Jesus Christ was resurrected. Although the egg looks inert, it contains the beginning of new life.

In pious tradition, colored eggs date back to the first century within a generation of Jesus Christ, himself. Saint Mary Magdalene, shortly after Christ’s Ascension during a persecution of the Christians by the Emperor Tiberius, was brought before the Emperor. He derided her for her belief in the Resurrection saying, “A man can no more be raised from the dead, than that egg you’re holding could turn red.” Immediately the egg she held turned red. This story is thought to be the beginning of the egg dying tradition in the Christian Church and is why icons of Mary Magdalene often depict her holding a red egg.

To make a reservation at the workshop, call 505.661.9704 or e-mail pysanky@stjobla.org.

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