Traditional Pysanky Symbols and Colors

Colors and designs on Pysanky eggs reflect Christian symbolism. Meanings do not change for those incorporated into the Christmas designs.  This is not a definitive list and you will find other pysanky writers using similar but different language for their definitions. As with any passed-down craft, localities can alter meanings; but, these have worked well with my holiday eggs and could help you in your selection and choices. 

If you want to make your gift truly personal, use the list below to choose a final color, primary symbol, and one type of line to go around your egg to reflect the wishes you have for a particular friend or loved one. 


Black          -   Remembrance, eternity, and death 

White         -   Purity, birth, virginity, and ignorance

Lavender/Purple -  Patience, power, royalty   

Yellow        -   Spirituality, youth, light, purity, happiness, wisdom

Green         -   Youth, growing, renewal, freshness, hope (in Christianity, victory of life over death) 

Red            -   Beauty, love, passion, enthusiasm

Orange      -   Endurance, strength, power

Brown        -   Earth

Blue           -   Sky and good health from good air

Final Color Choices:

Black, Brown, Dark Green, Dark Red, Purple, Royal Blue

Symbols & Designs:

The egg itself represents life and the eternal cycle of creation

Birds/Hens    -  Fertility

Roosters        -  Male power and prosperity

Deer/Stags   -  Wealth, prosperity

Horns             -   Nobility, wisdom, and triumph over problems

Leaves/Flowers  -   Life, growth, eternal love, immortality, beauty, and children

Circles           -   Protection and everlasting life, continuity, and completeness

Suns              -   The life-giving, all-embracing, all-renewing nature of God

Stars/Roses -  Purity, life, the giver of light, divine will of God, and God's love for humanity (John 3:16)

Trees            -   Strength, renewal, creation, growth, and eternal life

Triangle        -   The Trinity and the elements of air, fire, and water

Lines/Waves/Ribbons encircling egg, in any style  -  Everlasting life

Ladders        -   Prayers going up to heaven

The 8-pointed Star  -   Ancient symbol for Jesus Christ

Wolf Teeth    -   Protection from evil

Dots/Small Circles  -   Mary's tears or the sun

Netting           -   Jesus as the "Fisher or Men"

Cross              -   Jesus's crucifixion