Painted Eggs – a preserved tradition of Romania

The beautiful tradition of painted eggs has a Christian origin and symbolizes the spring arrival together with revival of nature. During Easter time, every table has a basket of painted eggs that represents the revival of life.

The legend of painted eggs said that Saint Mary put a basket with eggs and cry at the legs of his crucified Son. His blood makes the eggs red and since then, the tradition of painting red eggs is still preserved.

Romanian popular tradition considers that painted eggs symbolizes regeneration, purification and protects the animals from the household. Usually, women are responsible to paint the eggs with paint or using several old techniques, such as sweet apple peel or red onion peel to get the red color, blue is obtained from purple flowers, green can be get from walnut leaves and so on. For every color there is a correspondent in nature.

During Lent, travellers can see the greatest art of painted eggs especially in Bucovina region. Here, the eggs’ background color is preserved, and people draw lines which have different significations. Drawings are made with a wooden stick which has fixed a tiny brass. On this tiny brass passes a pork hair. Today, most women paint the eggs in

Usually, the painting of the eggs is a tradition accomplished during Holy Week. This year is hold from April 9 to April 15, respecting the Julian calendar. Before women start painting the eggs, they have to finish a Black Fast – a severe form of religious/ orthodox fasting.  Painted eggs can be eaten only after the Easter liturgy – held on Saturday night in all Romanian Orthodox churches. During the liturgy, Christians are holding a lighted candle.

Painted and colored eggs are shared with the love ones and other relatives and according to traditions, the eggs are usually put close to one of their Religious icons.

In Banat region children wash their faces in the Easter morning with fresh water in which put grass and a red egg. Also here, the traditional meal consists in boiled pork knuckle, roast lamb and red eggs. People eat only after the food is fiddled.

During Easter time, Romanians eat a painted egg only after accomplishing a well-known tradition: an old person, usually men, collide the other person’s egg and said this “Christ is Risen!”. The other person responds with “Truly, He is Risen”.

Foreign tourists that visit Romanian during Eastern Time are served with painted eggs to celebrate the Ascension of Christ.

This year, Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on April 16. Around 86% of the Romanian population is Orthodox Christians.

 

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Adela Petrus
“At any age, man is a creature that feeds on stories. Therefore, the wealth measured in stories, gathered by the people across the globe, from house to house, from century to century, either spoken or in writing, exceeded any other human wealth” - Rabindranath Tagore

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