A pysanka is a traditional Ukrainian Easter Egg decorated with folk motifs and designs using a wax resist - batik method.
It is said that pysanky date back from pre-Christian era, and sadly there are not much intact ancient evidence for this because the eggshell is fragile, yet archeologists unearthed fragments of eggshells with wax-resist decoration to support that hypothesis.
Every family in Ukraine had its own special ritual, its own symbols, meanings and secret formulas for dyeing eggs. These customs were preserved faithfully and passed down from mother to daughter through generations. The custom of decorating pysanky was performed with the greatest care, and a pysanka, after receiving the Easter blessing, was held to have great powers as a talisman.
The dyes were prepared from dried plants, roots, bark, berries and insects and the egg was "written on" with a stylus.
Heated beeswax was applied to the egg with a writing motion and the dye sequence was always from light to dark.
Pysanki are heavy with symbolism. Starting from old superstitions and beliefs that it could ward off evil spirits, catastrophe, fire and bring good luck, harvest, health and prosperity.
There is an interesting reading on history and symbols of pysanki here and meaning of pysanki colors here.