An Uncommon Egg

One of the many Easter traditions that are specific to Romanian culture is the painting of eggs.
An Uncommon Egg
Painted eggs with Romanian traditional motives
You may think to yourself that this doesn’t sound unique at all and that painting eggs is something that is done every Easter in western culture as well, but I assure you it is something much different than simply dipping an egg in colored dye and coloring it with crayons. According to my research, Painting Eggs is an ancient tradition that began from the death of Christ and is still practiced to this day. Throughout the years however, the painting of eggs evolved into using more than just the color red. Now, there are many colors that are used and new intricate symbols as well. When I was able to talk to Fejer Yolanda, a local artisan who has been painting eggs for twenty years now, she told me that the symbols on the eggs are inspired from many different things, the most popular being nature. She told me that painting eggs was a hobby of hers and that she had learned from a neighbor a long time ago. Then I asked how long one egg took to paint and she replied that sometimes one egg could take up to two hours to complete. The astonishment grew when I imagined the patience and craftsmanship that had to go into a single egg, and when looking down at her collection, there seemed to be more eggs than one can count. When examining the eggs sometimes it is easy to pick the symbols up quickly as they are very obvious, but other times one will need to pay special attention in order to be able to spot the finest of details. She told me it is important to remember that behind the symbols are stories of how the Romanian people live and what is most precious to them. Symbols such as flowers, crosses, animals, historical symbols, and the sun are very commonly used, and are made to inspire faith, love, hope, and eternal life. It is also very common for eggs to be specific to the region that their maker lives and works in. Sometimes one will see the uniqueness of each village or region being exemplified in a collection of eggs. The painted eggs are a perfect example of one of the many artisan traditions that Romania has to offer. Their delicate and intricate symbols are skillfully produced, and are looked at with the highest appreciation and respect. It is a rare craft that I believe needs to be cherished and continued. Text: Daniel Zmistowski Photo: Ana A. Negru

  • An Uncommon Egg
    Romanian painted eggs
    An Uncommon Egg
Daniel Zmistowski
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