Painted eggs are not only served at the festive Easter table, but it was customary to give them to each other during the whole Easter week. Since ancient times, the egg has been a symbol of the emerging and renewing life. This idea is based on many customs that existed among different peoples. For example, in Russia, in some localities, an egg was laid in its foundation so that the work of the builders would compete, and happiness and prosperity would not leave its future owners.
There are several versions about where the custom of giving and painting eggs for Easter originates. Legend has it that at Easter, Mary Magdalene gave the Roman Emperor Tiberius an egg painted red - the color of the blood shed by Christ on the cross. On the egg was written "HV", that is, "Christ is Risen!"
There is a more rational explanation for this. It used to be that during the 40-day fast, starting on Wednesday of the first week, it was forbidden to eat eggs. But since the hens did not want to adapt to the church calendar in any way, the eggs laid during the fast had to be preserved somehow so that they would not deteriorate. For this they were cooked. And in order not to confuse boiled and raw eggs in the future, plants containing natural dyes were added to the cooking water.
On Easter in Russia, it was customary to lay dyed eggs on fresh sprouted greens of oats, wheat, and sometimes on pale green tiny leaves of watercress, which were specially germinated in advance for the holiday.
Easter festivals often featured egg games. For example, eggs were rolled in villages. They chose a small flat piece of land, trampled it down to get a flat area. Shallow holes were made in the ground. Each of the participants brought their own painted eggs, which were laid out in the holes. The task of each participant was to roll out the testicle he liked from the hole - then he became the winner. The eggs were rolled out using a special rag ball with flattened sides, similar to a wheel.
Since there was a custom to store eggs for a whole year until next Easter, over time, eggs began to be made of wood and painted with ornaments and patterns. Later, eggs made of porcelain, silver with precious stones appeared.
HOW TO PAINT THE EGGS
For coloring eggs, it is best to use onion skins, which are harvested in advance. Depending on the color of the husk, the color of the eggs ranges from light red to dark brown. If you want the color to be more saturated, you need to take more husks and cook it for about half an hour before dipping the eggs into the broth. Almost purple eggs come from the husks of red onions. You can also paint with birch leaves or food colors.
To prevent the eggs from bursting during cooking, they need to be kept warm or at room temperature for about an hour; during cooking, you can add a tablespoon of salt to the water.
Some families keep the custom of dyeing eggs "speckled". To do this, wet eggs are rolled in dry rice, wrapped in cheesecloth (the ends of the gauze must be tightly tied with a thread so that the rice sticks to the egg) and then boiled in onion husks in the usual way.
To make the colored eggs shine, they are wiped dry and smeared with sunflower oil.
You can boil eggs wrapped in multi-colored threads, then they get interesting stains.
In order for the eggs to be colored from the inside, and not from the outside, you need to boil them for 3 minutes, then take out and in some places pierce the shell with a needle, and then boil another 1-1, 5 in a strong brew with cloves, cinnamon and coriander.
To quickly color the eggs, boil them for 10 minutes with a vegetable: spinach (green) or chopped beets (bright red). For a marbled effect, wrap the eggs in onion skins and tie some cotton fabric over the top.
NATURAL EGG PAINTS
4 cups red onion skins Boil eggs for 30 minutes - 1 hour. Depending on the time of soaking, the eggs will turn from bright scarlet to deep red.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric to hot water, boil to intensify the color.
Soak boiled eggs in cranberry or beetroot juice.
Add violet flowers to hot water and soak overnight. If you add a little lemon juice to the water, you get a lavender color.
Two heads of finely chopped red cabbage, 500 ml of water and 6 tablespoons of white vinegar. Soak overnight for a deep blue color.
Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture to obtain a purple color, or boil eggs with spinach.
Soak eggs in grape juice.
For soft pink and blue, grate the shell with a handful of blueberries or cranberries.
4 cups yellow onion skins Boil for 30 minutes - 1 hour. The amount of husk and the duration of the boil will affect the color saturation.
Boil eggs in 250 ml of coffee.
The meanings of the symbols used when painting Easter eggs:
Pine is a symbol of health.
Black is the color of sorrow. A bright drawing was necessarily applied to a black base. The child was made an Easter egg on a cherry background, not on a black one.
The dove is a symbol of the soul.
The mesh is a symbol of fate.
White is the beginning of all beginnings: the fate that is built in the sky.
The yellow mesh is a symbol of the sun and the fate that is being built here.
Oak is a symbol of strength.
Dots are a symbol of fertility.
Plums are a symbol of love.
Hops are a symbol of fertility.
Any berry is a symbol of fertility; mother.
Flowers are a symbol of girlhood.