In Europe, one of the traditional symbols associated with the Easter celebrations is the egg.?
In Europe, one of the traditional symbols associated with the Easter celebrations is the egg. According to experts, the decorated Easter egg is an evolution of the idea of the egg as an ancient symbol of renewed life.
SYNOPSIS: This is the small Polish village of Grudrzice, where tradition of decorating eggs for Easte/has been preserved for centuries. In a nearby museum, there are examples dating back several centuries; and in the region, archaeological excavations have uncovered decorated eggs a thousand years old. Amongst Slav people, it is thought, coloured eggs played an important part even further back into history, in pagan festivities marking the coming of spring. The origins may be lost, but the egg decorating persists.
The technique for making eggs is deceptively simple. Stefania Topolowa, who lives in the village, has been making decorated eggs every Easter since she was a child. There are different methods for decorating eggs, which vary from region to region. The Grudzice way is called "kroszonka". Here the eggs are dipped into dye after they have been boiled. The dyes are dark colours, almost all made from vegetables and plants found locally.
Adding the pattern is a family affair. Each has its own traditional design, though most incorporate a flower motif. It is achieved by scraping away the dyed surface to reveal the white shell beneath. There has been a great upsurge in ethnic arts and crafts in recent years, and many of these Easter symbols have become popular collectors' items with travellers through the region.
As with most crafts, the equipment is simple, and has changed little over over the years. Special "engraving tools" are sometimes used now, but a sharp knife does the job just as well. As the intricate design emerges, it seems hard to believe that in a few days time this work will be briefly admired, then destroyed, as the Topolowa family celebrate Easter breakfast together.