How to Make Pisanki (Traditional Polish Dyed Eggs)

Easter eggs (Pisanki) are a big tradition in Poland. On Holy Saturday morning they are arranged in a decorated wicker basket and brought to a church where a priest blesses them with holy water. During the Easter breakfast they are shared along with warm wishes between the participants. Traditionally, in order to keep them healthy and ecological there's no artificial dyes used in their preparation.


There are many different styles of Easter eggs which differ depending on the region of Poland. The most common and easiest version (described below) involves boiling eggs with some dying ingredients and then removing some dye with the use of vinegar or a sharp object to create a pattern.

Steps

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    Boil some water in a small or medium-sized saucepan. Don't boil a lot of it, unless you have a very large amount of the dying ingredient.
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    Add the dying ingredient to the water. Use a generous amount - like you were preparing a hearty soup, and simmer for several minutes. Possible dyeing ingredients are:
    • White or red onion skins (most popular and very effective) - it gives brown or burgundy colour,
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    • Walnut skins - black colour,
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    • Cornflower blossom - blue,
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    • Beetroot juice - pink,
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    • Dark-coloured hollyhocks blossom (hibiscus tea) - purple
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    Add the eggs and boil them in the brew. Keep checking until they reached desired colour - the longer they stay, the richer the colour will be.
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    Leave the eggs to cool down. You can leave them in the brew.
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    Once eggs are cooled and dried you can start creating patterns on them. There are two ways of doing that:
    • Scratching their shells with a knife or other sharp, or,
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    • Removing the dye with a cotton bud dipped in a vinegar.
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    Once you've finished, put some oil on your palm or cloth and wipe the eggs. This will give them a nice shine.

Tips

  • White-shelled eggs are much easier to dye.
  • You can also try to stick something on the eggs before dyeing them to create interesting effects.
  • If you want to try to decorate them in a traditional way - you can try to paint something on the shell with melted wax.
  • In some regions of Poland Easter eggs are being decorated by sticking paper cut-outs, flowers, leaves, ribbons or other decorations on them.
  • Needle is one of the tools traditionally used to scratch or paint Easter eggs in Poland.

Warnings

  • The saucepan can become permanently stained.
  • The dye can cause difficult to remove stains on your skin or clothes.

Article Info

Categories: Easter | Easter Crafts