The eggs are a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth in Christianity. First time the eggs were coloured red, in memory of the blood of Christ. The custom of the Easter eggs, according to many sources, can be traced to early Christians of Mesopotamia. From there it spread to Russia and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches, and later in Europe through the Catholic and Protestant Churches. But in this modern life eggs are made from different materials, like plastic, wood or tasty chocolate wrapped in colourful paper or foil.
There is some special tradition in few Mediterranean countries, especially in Lebanon, where the chicken eggs are boiled and decorated, dyed or painted and used to decorate the table and the house with it. On Easter Day young kids would duel with them saying “Christ is resurrected, Indeed, He is” than breaking and eating the eggs. This tradition happens in some Eastern European countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Georgia, Serbia, Russia, Greece and Cyprus too. On Easter Sunday families and friends hit each other’s eggs with their own, those eggs which don’t break are believed to have good luck in the future.
In Germany the tradition is to decorate trees and bushes with eggs, you can see lots of painted eggs on the trees.
I prefer to dye the Easter eggs with natural ingredients. If artificial colours are not your type, just look around in your garden or kitchen and let nature turn the eggs colourful. Let’s see our fantastic ingredients at home to make magic!
All things that we need we can find easily in our household to dye yellow, red, pink, lavender, brown and blue colours with spice and some veggies.
We can dye:
– Buttercup yellow with- turmeric,
– Brick red with- brown onion skin,
– Pink with- beetroot,
– Lavender with- red cabbage,
– Chocolate brown with- black coffee,
– Green with- parsley or spinach
– Blue with -red cabbage and bicarbonate of soda.
You can dye chicken eggs even white or brown, or duck eggs; they work best as their shells are big and white. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes, 10 for duck egg. Drain and cool them.
You will need one saucepan for each dye, 2 tablespoons of white wine or cider vinegar and 500 ml water.
– Buttercup yellow – 2 tablespoons turmeric,
– Brick red – 2 mugs crushed brown onion skin,
– Pink – 1 large coarsely grated beetroot,
– Lavender – 1 mug grated red cabbage,
– Chocolate brown – 1 mug strong black coffee,
– Green – 1 bunch of parsley or spinach
– Blue – 1 mug grated red cabbage, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
This is really good fun! So, do this with kids and enjoy Easter.
Bring the pots to the boil then simmer for at least 20 minutes. Once the dyes have simmered and the colours look rich, filter the water before using a mug or mugs if you need more dyes. Put the boiled egg in each mug, let them soak for half an hour. If you want a darker colour let them soak longer. Remove them with a spoon and let them dry in an egg cup, then keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To dye different motives on eggs you need a muslin or nylon stockings and put on the egg one or two leaves and then bind tightly. Keep them in the mug for 20-25 minutes, cut off the muslin and put them in the eggs cup to dry.
Peel the eggs shell and dip in a pinch of salt or roll them in a spice mix – crushed cumin, pepper, coriander and paprika.