Simple hearts are not a common motif on traditional pysanky. These are a few  examples of pysanka heart motifs:

Quite often, heart shapes are part of a plant motif (leaves or petals),  as in the Hutsul pysanka below (from Onyshchuk). The hearts in this instance are examples of leaves on a vine or perhaps grapes.


Hearts are universal symbols of love, but they were also the symbol of the Rozhanytsi (Рожаниці), the ancient Slavic goddesses of birth. These goddesses not only promoted fertility, but protected the home, the family, and the hearth. Below is a pysanka from Binyashevsky, Hutsul, which features hearts prominently:

These two pysanky from the Kyiv region also feature hearts prominently:


The heart motifs found on pysanky can be love symbols, and were used by young women who would write them on the pysanky they wanted to give to the young men they liked, to express their affection for them.  (Below: end motif of a pysanka from Roztoky, Bukovyna).

Some Ukrainian sources claim the heart motif is a Christian symbol, the “Sacred Heart of Jesus.”  This is much less likely, and would only apply to some areas of western Ukraine, where the Greek Catholic (Uniate) religion is practiced.

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