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PISANKI – the Polish Easter Egg Tradition

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PISANKI – the Polish Easter Egg Tradition

One of the most recognized aspects of Polish Easter traditions, are Polish Easter eggs. Called “pisanki” in Polish (which comes from the verb pisać, or ‘to write’), the elaborately decorated Polish Easter egg is a tradition that is centuries’ old and continues to be loved and celebrated to this day. 

The earliest decorated Easter eggs in Poland are from as far back as the 10th and 13th centuries, and were made according to a technique called “batik,” which is still used today!  It involves the use of a special “pen” to apply liquid wax to “write” or draw a design onto the egg, which is later placed in a colorant and then heated to remove the wax and reveal the design underneath. 

Traditionally, the colorants used for Polish Easter eggs are of plant origins. Onion peels are used for a red color, while rye sprouts are used for green, beetroot for pink, apple tree bark for yellow - all much healthier ways of dying the eggs.

Eggs colored with onions

Other forms of decorating the Easter egg in Poland include lightly scratching a colored egg with a stylus or gluing on colorful paper cutouts, typically representing folk flower or rooster motifs. The traditional Polish Easter egg comes in dozens of regional varieties - some involve motifs shaped after the Easter palms, fir branches and crosses, others feature a dual color scheme with light decorations on dark backgrounds. 

Of course many less traditional methods exist today as well, including the use of acrylic paints, amber jewelry or the use of a precision drill to make meticulously crafted openwork Easter eggs.

Regardless of how old or new the technique, the tradition of creating beautifully crafted Easter eggs is one that continues excite both artists and everyday families in Poland and around the world. 

Rooster eggs

Whether you’ll be making your own pisanki this year or not, you can purchase traditional Polish-style wooden Easter eggs on Polana.com to fill your Easter basket or decorate your Easter table. Visit our EASTER FAVORITES page to shop! 

We’ve also got everything else you need to make a traditional Polish Easter basket or brunch over on our Easter Favorites page! 

Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych! / Happy Easter!


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