Two women wearing traditional Sorbian folk dress talk while selling Pysanka -- decorative Easter eggs handcrafted using beeswax and dye -- at a market in Schleife, near Hoyerswerda, Germany on March 24.

Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Not your average Easter egg

Two women wearing traditional Sorbian folk dress talk while selling Pysanka — decorative Ukranian Easter eggs handcrafted using beeswax and dye — at a market in Schleife, near Hoyerswerda, Germany.

The intricately designed eggs are believed to shield households from evil spirits and misfortune.

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A woman uses a wax-resist method to paint Ukranian folk designs on a Pysanka egg at a market in Schleife, near Hoyerswerda, Germany on March 24.

Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

The art of painting eggs

A woman uses a wax-resist method to paint Ukranian folk designs on a Pysanka egg at a market in Schleife, near Hoyerswerda, Germany.

Although the eggs originate in Ukraine, many Slavic populations across eastern and central Europe observe this ancient tradition, including the Sorbs of Lusatia, a slavic minority living in eastern Germany.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Preparing for Easter with intricate Pysanka eggs
Sorb women of Lusatia handcraft Pysanka — intricately designed Easter eggs that are believed to shield households from evil spirits and misfortune.