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The Russian Tradition of Easter Eggs
April 24, 2019 10:53


One of the main Easter traditions, painted eggs symbolize the Holy Sepulcher, inside of which eternal life is hidden. The shell stands for the stone, which closed the entrance to the rock where Christ was buried. However, there is a new life under the shell. The red color, traditionally used for painting Easter eggs indicates the suffering and shed blood of Christ. At the same time, it implies the royal dignity of the Savior and the victory of good over evil.
What are Easter Eggs Like?

There are several traditional types of Easter eggs.

One-colour eggs, mostly red, are plain dyed eggs without any pattern applied on the shell. For centuries, natural dyes, primarily onion peel, have been traditionally used to prepare the dye. By its means, a saturated terracotta color and yellow color of varying intensity was obtained.

Multi-colour ornamented eggs are Easter eggs painted with traditional folk patterns, mainly geometric or floral ones. The Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language (1866) by Vladimir Dahl reads: “The pattern is applied with a wire hook that is dipped in a wax; the egg afterwards steeped in paint gets coloured only in the areas free from wax”.  
Only raw eggs were painted this way, as they were not meant for food. After the Trinity, such ornamented Easter egg shells were emptied by blowing the egg away through a tiny hole. The painted egg shell was turned into a bird, with feathers glued to the shell to symbolize wings.

It was a must to paint the eggs in a particular manner, following the rules of combining the colors of the ornament and the background.

Designer Easter eggs. If those rules were not followed, it was another type of Easter egg, with an individual but not traditional pattern.
In old Russian families, it was believed that the egg, decorated with the most complex pattern, should be taken by the eldest member of the family, while the simplest pattern was meant for the youngest.

Striped or dotted Easter eggs are eggs with a one-colour background, on which various patterns of strips or dots are applied.

Scratched Easter eggs. After dying the eggs, an ornamental pattern was scratched against the one-colour painted background.

Decorative Easter eggs are made from wood, beads and other materials. The famous Faberge eggs can be considered a variety of this type.

Today, Easter eggs are painted in a variety of colors and decorated in many different ways.

Russian Way of Easter Egg Rolls

A favorite entertainment at Easter was the rolling of painted eggs. The games started on the first day of Easter and sometimes continued throughout the whole Bright Week. One game could last several hours. Skillfully painted wood eggs were often used; sometimes whole sets of such eggs were made specifically for the game.

The rules of egg rolls were as follows. A painted egg was rolled on an inclined wooden plank or a ground slide. Below, each of the participants set up an egg, altogether they formed a semicircle. The goal was to knock those eggs off. If it worked, the leader took the knocked-off egg and continued the game. If the leader missed, the next participant took the lead.
Russian Easter Traditions
Bright Holiday of Pascha, or Russian Easter
Russian Easter Recipes
White Porcelain Easter Egg
Golden Faberge Egg With Carriage
Red Faberge Egg With Arrows

Photos from: https://c.pxhere.com https://mensup.ru http://ztgzt.kz https://avatars.mds.yandex.net


Sources: https://foma.ru 


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Easter Russian Holidays Russian Traditions Russian Souvenirs  

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