(WTNH) – April 1 is International Pysanky Day for peace overseas. It’s all about those incredible, intricate Easter eggs that originated in Ukraine.

News 8’s Sarah Cody sat down with a Terryville priest to share more about the tradition and how it’s being affected by the war.

“This is a Ukrainian tradition called Pysanky. The tradition began before Christian times. The egg was like a symbol of the universe,” said Father Paul Luniw.

Father Paul Luniw was raised in England but is of Ukrainian descent. He has made hundreds, maybe thousands of incredible, colorful works of art.

“Goose eggs, quail eggs, and also the tiny Finch eggs over here,” Father Luniw said. “This is the 40 days of Lent, 40 eggs on this one Ostrich egg. Some people ask if it’s a decal or did a computer does this and I say, ‘It’s all freehand,’” Father Luniw said.

Now, we mostly see Psyanky eggs around Easter. People make them to protect home, but this year, the tradition will be very different in Ukraine.

“What I gather now is that they’re packing the boxes up and hiding everything. Not only the eggs, the icons, the embroideries, anything museum pieces are being hidden at the moment,” Father Luniw said.

But Father Luniw, the priest at Terryville’s St. Michael Ukrainian Church, has heard that Polish schools are trying to keep up the practice for young Ukrainian refugees.     

“What the world is doing now is supporting Ukraine, supporting children, families, broken families indeed, which will take years to restore to normalcy,” Father Luniw said.

During this difficult time, Father Luniw is also turning to his art, which he shared with the Pope for reflection and perspective. A stylus is warmed in a flame, then dipped in beeswax to make shapes o the egg. The beeswax-covered area is preserved when dipped in dye. Father Luniw may make six or seven layers, then the wax is melted off.

“When you take the wax off and you see the beauty that’s being created, there’s a great sense of joy and satisfaction and peace that comes over doing these eggs,” Father Luniw said.

There’s a legend about the eggs, about a place where an evil figure is tied with chains to rocks.

“So, we’re praying that people all over the world will paint eggs so the chains tighten, and this monster doesn’t get hold of everything all over the world,” Father Luniw explained.

Life imitating art.