The custom of painting eggs for Easter is beautiful and lets in advance to feel the spirit of that holiday.
Almost three-quarters of the population of Russia color eggs for Easter holiday. Eggs are colored in advance – on Maundy Thursday. At the end of Lent painting eggs promised an upcoming feast. Especially happy were children.
How Eggs were Colored
Eggs were originally colored with natural dyes. In the water for cooking eggs people added birch leaves, thyme. The most common dye was onion peel. The end result was a very beautiful color.
There were some tricks for dyeing eggs, which allowed also entertaining kids. Children cut out paper figures of trees and animals. Then those paper figures were attached with thread to eggs. After boiling eggs in the dye solution in place of papers there remained white figures on a dark background.
At the end there 19th century special paints for dyeing eggs appeared. Also there were special coloring cloths that allowed you to create “marbled” pattern on eggs.
Sometimes eggs were decorated with wax. Then eggs were dipped in dyeing solution. Afterwards, the wax was scraped off.
During the Soviet Union era paints for dyeing eggs were not produced. But there was a colored copy paper, using which creative Russian people rubbed eggs, and they also used traditional natural dyes.
In modern Russia there is a huge variety of products for dyeing eggs: from special dyes to plastic stickers.
How Eggs were Broken
Hard-boiled eggs were eaten on Easter. Eggs were smashed into each other, and it was always a fun entertainment for children. Who will win? You should always hit with a narrower end of an egg, it is more durable. You should try to hit another egg slightly on the side, where the shell is less strong.
Although, there were some jokers who in advance made a wooden figurine in the form of an egg, painted it, and then won against everybody. This figure was carefully cherished and preserved, often passing it on from generation to generation.
It is hard to believe, but dyed eggs are really tastierthan the regular ones!
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev