Easter and the Resurrection Eggs|
As a Creation?s symbol, the eggs has inspired, since the most ancient times, countless legends, tales, an entire literature. In the Romanian culture, the work of its gigantic creators ? the sculptor Constantin Brancusi and the poet Ion Barbu ? gravitates around this item, considerer the perfect geometrical form.
The origins of eggs? painting goes back in the pre-Christian times, when people used to celebrate the New Year at the spring equinox. They were given as symbol of equilibrium, creation and fecundity. In the Roman Empire , the red eggs were among the gifts offered to god Janus or for various religious ceremonies.
The eggs? painting practice was transmitted to the Christians; while the costume almost disappeared in many parts of the Europe , Romanians made of it a real art, refining techniques and materials. The painted eggs reveal customs, traditions and manners with huge spiritual force and define the ethnic peculiarities of our people. The folklore conserves several Christian legends telling why people paint eggs on Easter and how they became the symbol of Christ?s Resurrection. According to one of those legends, Virgin Mary, came to mourn the crucified Son, put under the cross a basket of eggs which turned red from the blood guttered from God?s wounds. God Himself exhorted then all those present to keep panting eggs, as remembrance of His crucifixion.
- traditional hen eggs
- vegetal colours
- special tool called ?chisita?, made from a tinny metal pipe very small in diameter crossed by a pork hair to write the design
- a swab used to cover bigger surfaces ? points, thick rules
- red: sweet apple-tree husk, flowers and leaves, hawthorn husk
- blue: lady?s delight
- green: nut leaves, black alder skin, sunflower sprouts
- yellow: onion leaves, wild apple skin
- black (black eggs symbolize Jesus? Passions): green nutshell, black alder skin and flowers.
Before painting, the egg passes through two kinds of preparation techniques ? boiling it or emptying it. The ornament consists in drawing with hot wax on the white egg, before emerge it into the colour. For more colours, the egg is emerged successively in darker colours, after drawing the motives. To remove the wax the egg is placed near a heat source and then whipped with a soft shred, before oil it with grease to make it shine.
Across time, the ornamental motives become more and more complicated and only the village?s elder women know today the symbolic meaning. The most frequent are the geometric, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic or naturalist motives, depicting animals, birds, even biblical scenes, in various combinations.
The eggs painting practice covers the entire area of the country. In Muntenia and Oltenia, , the ornaments are naturalist and contain fewer colours. In the north, motives and colours are both more elaborated. At Sucevita monastery, the monks use beads to decorate the eggs. Tara Barsei of Brasov county distinguishes for the delicacy of the design and the ornamental and chromatic composition.
Charged with religious symbolism, painted eggs are not only ornamental objects, but central items of various rituals. In Bucovina , the Easter eggshells are thrown in the river, so that the water takes them to the ?Gentles? (imaginary creatures, dead unbaptized children? incarnations, dwelling at the end of the world). Gentles are hereby announced that all the Christians celebrate Easter.