Easter Cards


Easter cards are traditionally exchanged in the Ukrainian community, particularly among the diaspora.  A large percentage of Ukrainian Easter cards employ pysanky in their decorative motifs.  Commonly you will see also a paska (Easter bread) and pussy willows (blessed on Palm Sunday in Ukraine).  Also found are bits of embroidery, chicks, baskets and flower, particularly on cards from Ukraine.  On some cards you might find people in traditional costume, and churches, but this is less common.

Diasporan cards tend to stress Ukrainian-ness (with pysanky and embroidery), whereas modern-day Ukrainian cards are much more likely to have bouquets of flowers and images of Christ on them. Diasporan cards are the traditional Hallmark bi-folds, whereas Ukrainian cards are, more often than not, post cards, continuing an old tradition*.

I have two collections of Easter cards–real and virtual.  The virtual collection is of vintage (and other Slavic) cards I’ve found on the internet and saved.  The real cards are those I’ve collected over the years, and placed into albums.

My virtual cards are divided into these albums:

Vintage Ukrainian Easter Cards:  Mostly from the ArtUkraine site, these are old Ukrainian cards from Europe and North America.

Czech Easter Cards: these cards are mostly vintage, and depict Czech Easter eggs and customs.

Polish Easter Cards: a mix of old and modern, these cards include a series of wicinianki (traditional Polish paper-cut) Easter cards

The earliest cards in my “real” collection are diasporan cards designed in the 1950s and 1960s.  These are usually reproductions of paintings, and the subject matter stresses the Ukrainian nature of the holiday. Later cards include photos of variable quality, and the newer ones are often cut and paste jobs done on the computer, as can be noted when looking closely. (Notice the chick which appears on two separate cards in these sets.)

I’ve collected two albums full of these cards over the years.  My mother saves hers for me and, in recent years, I have added those sent to me by family in Ukraine. I have included them on my site because they have pysanky on them, and thus can be a design resource.  Also, because I like them.

«Христос Воскрес» is the Ukrainian Easter greeting, and means “Christ has risen.” During Easter service (which, for the orthodox, is a midnight mass), the priest shouts this to the congregation, who answer «Воїстено Воскрес!» (“Indeed he has risen!”).  It is also how Ukrainian Christians greet each other during the Easter holiday (followed by three kisses on alternate cheeks).

I’ve divided my collection of Easter cards into five categories, to aid in searching, and divided a few of these groups into multiple albums (so as to decrease the size of the pages and help them load more quickly).  The categories are summarized below; links to them can also be found on the Modern Gallery page.

Easter Traditions 1 : those cards that depict largely Ukrainian Easter traditions including “Pussy Willow” Sunday, the writing of pysanky, the blessing of the baskets and more

Easter Traditions 2 : those cards that depict largely Ukrainian Easter traditions including pasky (Ukrainian Easter breads), krashanky (simple colored eggs), pysanky, folk arts and more

Baskets and Flowers:  Easter baskets full of pasky, krashanky and pysanky, as well as bouquets of all sorts of native and exotic flowers

Religious Cards: those which depict the Christian aspects of Easter, with icons and even a “Veronica,” rather than the more pagan ones

Pysanky 1: those Easter cards which rely predominantly on pysanky as their central motif (a fair number of chicks are involved for some reason)

Pysanky 2: those Easter cards which rely predominantly on pysanky as their central motif, including more recent cards. A few Pace eggs (lystovky) and chicks are included.

Modern: a series of newer cards (mostly from Ukraine) which use pysanky in an artistic and sometimes unusual manner.      

Click on any of the pictures on the album pages for a larger view. I’ve also begun adding pages on an annual basis with the new Easter cards I acquire that year. These will be added in to the general collection as well.

To view my pysanka postcard collection, go to this page.


  1. *The earliest greeting cards, the first Christmas cards, were postcards.  It was only later that they became fancier and required an envelope.  Similarly, Ukraine (or rather, Ukrainians, as Ukraine did not re-emerge as an independent state until 1992) has a tradition of postcard greeting cards, as can be seen in the “Vintage” postcard section.

Back to MAIN Ukrainian Easter home page.

Back to MAIN Pysanka home page.

Back to Pysanka Index.

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