Polish Easter Eggs on Definitive Stamps

The craft of painting Easter Eggs is well-known in Eastern & Central Europe. Some feature very intricate and minute design, and for a stunning effect, many natural dyes are still being used. The tradition is well-known not only in Poland, where such a painted egg is known as pisanka (pl. pisanki), but also elsewhere: Belarus (пісанка, pisanka), Bulgaria (писано яйце, pisano yaytse), Russia (крашанки, krasanki, or писанки, pysanki), Croatia (pisanica), Czech Republic (kraslice), Hungary (hímestojás), Lithuania (margutis), Romania (ouă vopsiteîncondeiate  or împistrite), Serbia (pisanica), Slovakia (kraslica), Slovenia (pirhipisanice, or remenke) and with minorities such as the Sorbs (jejka pisać) or with the Carpatho-Russyns (крашанкы, krašankŷ, or писанкы, pysankŷ).

The term pisanka is but an umbrella term, as many other words are used to describe the several other techniques of painting and decorating Easter eggs in Poland. Kraszanki (or, malowanki, or, byczki) are just painted in natural dyes, but in some regions the word is used for all pisanki. Drapanki (or skrobanki) are kraszanki on which additional craftwork is being used, such as with a sharp tool to reveal the white of the shell in intricate patterns. Pacenki are similar in looks to drapanki, but instead they are painted additional decorations. Naklejanki are being decorated instead with leaves and papier mâché. Last but not least, oklejanki (or wyklejanki) are decorated with yarn, that allows them to reveal imperfect patterns created by diverse degrees of dye impregnation.

In this article, we are going to look at the definitive stamps issued by Polish Post between 2014-2019 before Easter. The design of the stamps is provided by the artist Agnieszka Sancewicz. Most of the stamps are pisanki, but in recent issues other types of pisanki are being shown as well.

The 2014 issue

The first stamps of the definitive series were issued in 2014, with two stamps featuring Easter Eggs from Opoczno and Puszcza Kozienicka.

The 2015 issue

Two more stamps were issued in 2015. This time traditional Easter eggs from Puszcza Kurpiowska and Opole. The second stamp shows a variety of kraszanka.

The 2016 issue

Another set of 3 stamps was issued in 2016 for Easter. The first one is a traditional one from the minority of Lemkos, settled in today’s Poland and Slovakia. The second one shows the patterns common for the Hutsuls, settled in Poland, Ukraine and Romania, while the third one is from Lublin.

The 2017 issue

Both the stamps from the 2017 issue shows a traditional Easter egg from Lipie – although it is hard to pinpoint on a map which Lipie it is about (there are at least 20 cities with that name in Poland).

The 2018 issue

In 2018 as well, the traditional Easter eggs of Lipie were chosen to illustrate the year’s Easter definitive stamps.

The 2019 issue

The two stamps from the most recent issue of 2019 represent two varieties of Easter eggs. The first one is an oklejanka from Łowicz, while the second one is a kraszanka from Kaszuby region.

Stamps featured in post: 12; Period: contemporary (2014-2019); Pricing: moderate; Availability: some of the earlier items are no longer in the stock of the Polish Post.

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