The most miraculous of all holidays is upon us. Apart from the fact many of you will have some time off work to rest, Easter is also the time of small rituals. You can be part of them or not, but they are inevitable. Easter traditions vary slightly in different cultures. However, Easter egg dyeing is present almost everywhere around Easter time. There are many fun things that people do in the same way, even if they live miles apart. Easter egg dyeing is something each culture does in its own way. These small Easter rituals make for some of our favorite Easter traditions. Let us check them out.
Origins of Easter Egg Dyeing
This is probably one of the oldest Easter traditions. Many say that it originated way before Christianity. Namely, the pagans used to dye eggs and give them as gifts in celebration of the new season.
Logically, the eggs represented the new life and the new birth of nature and all its fruits. With their lives depending heavily on fruits of the land, as well as on forces of nature, members of the ancient cultures protected their small rituals as part of their lives.
Interestingly, the rituals persevered, and we adopted them accordingly. Moreover, the modern culture added some of the interpretations of Easter egg dyeing. If you dye your Easter eggs red, you basically stick to the most traditional of all colors. Many believe the usage of this color originates from the ancient times. One of the legends say that Mary Magdalene was holding the basket of eggs at the moment of Jesus’s crucifixion. Therefore, his blood dyed them red.
Luckily, nowadays we have the choice to use many colors for dyeing Easter eggs or even drawing on them.
How do Eastern Europeans Dye Their Easter Eggs?
If you look at the East Europe where Orthodox Christianity is prevailing, people usually dye their eggs with onion leaves. The color they get is dark red or brown. As a decoration, while still in the process of coloring, they sometimes include pressed flowers or leaves of various plants. The result is a dark red egg with pale shapes of flowers on it.
It is interesting that the same process of Easter egg dyeing is present in some Western countries. Belgium, for example. It could be due to the remains of the same way of life, relying on nature mostly.
In Eastern countries in Europe, there are additional small rituals related to Easter egg dyeing, such as competing in tapping the two eggs at both ends – bottom to bottom and top against the top. The wining egg continues competing in another round.
Most importantly, you should not eat the first egg which you color red this season nor you should use it in a “competition”. Namely, you should store this egg safely and keep it until the next Easter, as it protects the host and his family.
What About the Western Europe and Easter Egg Dyeing?
One thing connects all Western European Christians who celebrate Easter – the tradition of egg hunt or rolling of eggs.
We can find both in France and Germany, for example. Additionally, the Germans apparently like to hand the eggs of various colors on trees. This is also a sign of celebrating the nature and hope for the fruitful season.
In France, people color their eggs in various colors, and they organize the Easter egg roll on Easter morning. It is especially interesting for children to search for hidden eggs to get prizes. France also nurtures the tradition of Easter egg roll down a slope. The egg which remains whole is the “winning” egg. Some like to say that it signifies the stone which was removed from the tomb of Jesus.
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