Shaking out, polishing, soaking, and washing are the hallmarks of cleaning out the winter muck from the home and welcoming spring. Traditionally, in Eastern Europe, some female heads of the household begin their pysanky (decorated egg) making this way. Some women may choose not to speak for a day or a week for the same reason. All of these rituals are ways to clear the environment and the mind before the making of pysanky. This art form traditionally happens at night when the family is asleep and the home is quiet.
As the egg decorating begins, the creator thinks about the person to whom they are giving the egg. They think about their age, and what their wishes are. Then they render color and symbols to create an egg that will support them throughout the year.
Pastels are generally used for younger people. Solid colors are for adults. Darker colors and black are for the elderly. Symbols like deer connote a healthy family. Wheat stands for prosperity or an abundant crop. And there are many more symbols indicative of the good wishes a person wants to convey to the receiver of pysanky.
As of this writing, the Easter season is almost over. But the sentiments of love and support endure in the preservation of pysanky throughout the years.
You can make pysanky any time of year with Artists for Hire. I have taught over a thousand people in person and a couple million on television how to do this incredible art. You can take a class using Southwest symbols or a traditional class. Both classes go into details about the technique and the meaning of symbols.