The Easter Basket of special foods (described below) is arranged on Holy Saturday and taken to church, where a special blessing ceremony with prayers and sprinkling with Holy Water, is performed by the parish priest. The blessed food is served on Easter Sunday Brunch, once the fast is broken after the morning Easter Liturgy.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, because of its rich traditions. One of these is the blessing of a basket of special foods which becomes the Easter Sunday brunch, being the first meat meal, after a strict fast on Good Friday and Saturday. One of the special foods in that basket is a round shaped Easter Bread, called Paska in Ukrainian, or Babka in Polish. The top of this bread is elaborately decorated with fancy dough ornaments, having a cross as the central motif. Here is my family Paska recipe, which makes two large loaves, or several small ones.
The whole process of decorating a pysanka, consists of twelve basic steps listed in this post. I have chosen a very basic egg design for the first egg, and if you purchased an egg decorating kit, you will find several other designs to choose from for your next projects.
These Ukrainian Easter Eggs were decorated by my Great-Aunt Anna Kril Bart (Bartoszewska) and her children, in Queens, New York, over 80 years ago. The “sticks” displayed in front of the platter, are homemade styluses, used for drawing the outlines for the design on these eggs. The stylus handles were made from tree twigs, and the metal funnels were made from a metal can cut out…..such was life even in New York, USA, many years ago.