Instant Pysanky

Eastern Slovakia
Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogical Research


Easter Basket Covers

One of the most prized possessions in many families with roots in Eastern Europe is the Easter basket or Pascha cover.

The covers have symbols related to the Resurrection and the celebration of Easter. In many families the cover are passed on from generation to generation.

The foods traditionally blessed for Easter fall into three categories. Easter bread, also called Pascha, meat products, like ham, sausage, and bacon, and dairy products, like butter, Easter cheese, and Pysanky eggs. The covers are use to protect the contents of the baskets brought to church for blessing.

The appointed time of the blessing of the paschal foods is most often Holy Saturday or Easter morning. The Easter basket of food along with cover and candle is brought to the church. Having prepared themselves during Lent and by making their Easter confession and receiving Holy Communion, the faithful eat the blessed food on Easter Sunday and the days following Easter.

The most common element found on Easter basket covers is the Cross, the symbol of the resurrection. Pussy willows, roses, and other flowers are frequent design elements.

You will also find, angels, candles, Pysanky eggs, and Pascha bread on many basket covers.

The Pascha cover will very often carry the message of the Resurrection in the mother languge of the owner. The messages can be found in English, Slovak, Rusyn, Church Slavonic, Ukrainian and other languages of Eastern Europe.

Many times, the messages of resurrection is written in the Cyrillic letters of old as shown above and below.

For many people in America, this phrase, meaning "Christ is Risen" is the only words they can recognize in Cyrillic.

Embroidery is the most common method of decorating the Pascha basket covers. Those that practice the art of embroidery take great pride in making their covers. They realize that they are making something that will become a family heirloom.

In modern days, some Parcha covers now use silk-screenings which are quicker, easier, and less expensive to make.

The variations in designs and motifs is quite extensive. Even when at a Basket Blessing with hundreds of baskets, you will very seldom ever find two embroidered Pascha covers that are identical. Each makes a unique statement about the owners heritage and beliefs.

"Christ is risen from the dead, by death He conquered death, and to those in the graves He granted life!"

Check out some unique Easter Basket Blessing Covers currently available for sale.

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