Easter is in a few days and I wanted to share two very special traditions with you. Both traditions involve food but neither is a recipe.
The first tradition is that we always have Paska Bread at our home during Easter. It’s an Easter tradition shared by Russian and Ukrainian people. Paska bread is made with milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar and can also include raisins. The kind with raisins is my personal favorite!
I do not have a family recipe for this. It is available in the grocery stores around Easter. I did find a link online to share with you.
Maybe next year I will attempt to make Paska Bread!
The second tradition is the making of Pysanka, the Ukrainian Egg. A Ukrainian egg is designed by using a wax-resist method, not paint. They are absolutely beautiful! Scholars believe the tradition dates back to the pre-Christian era. The eggs symbolize the rebirth of man and there are many legends, superstitions and folk beliefs about the Pysanka.
To give someone a decorated egg is to give a symbolic gift of life which is why the egg must remain whole. The designs and combinations of colors have deep meanings. My cousin gave me the egg in the picture and it has the “tree of life” motif. This motif is widely used in traditional designs. The color choices have meanings also. My egg has red, black and green colors. The red is probably the oldest symbolic color. The black color is a particularly sacred color and the green is the color of new life in spring.
It’s funny, when you’re a kid you think other families are sharing the same traditions. It isn’t until you grow up and realize that’s far from true. It makes holding on to the traditions all the more special.