An old tradition of several millennia
The tradition of dyeing Easter eggs is very old and has pre-Christian origins. The egg was considered a symbol of life, balance, creation and fecundity. The Chinese and Babylonians dyed eggs two thousand years before Christ.
Easter egg dyeing is widespread in many Christian countries, including Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and Macedonia.
Easter eggs symbolize rebirth, life and joy and are decorated with various colors and motifs.
In the Serbian Orthodox tradition, eggs are dyed on Holy Thursday or Holy Saturday, with natural or artificial dyes.
Red is the most popular color, representing the blood of Jesus Christ, but other colors are also used, such as blue, green or yellow.
Eggs are also decorated with geometric, floral or religious motifs, using techniques such as painting with wax or plant leaves.
They are then blessed at church and used for the traditional game of egg-clash.
The winner is the one who has the egg intact after colliding and breaking the opponent’s egg.
Easter eggs are also a symbolic gift that people give to relatives and friends at Easter.
What do the colors mean?
The colors when dyeing Easter eggs have different meanings, depending on the tradition and faith of each one. In general, it is considered that:
- Red – symbolizes the blood of Jesus, fire, the sun, love, life and the joy of living
- Orange: it is the color of the sun and light, but also of joy and merriment. It symbolizes the power of God and his love for people
- Yellow – represents light, harvest, hospitality, happiness
- Verde – expresses the renewal and strength of nature, freshness, fruitfulness, hope
- Blue – means faith, heaven, serenity, vitality, health
- Violet: it is the color of fasting and repentance, but also of royalty and dignity. It symbolizes the suffering of Jesus before the crucifixion and the hope of resurrection
Easter eggs can be dyed with commercial dye or natural dyes, such as beetroot or red onion skins. They can also be decorated with leaves or flowers.
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