A Swedish organization - the Egg-marketing Association - recently held a nation-wide competition for painting Easter Eggs.
A Swedish organization - the Egg-marketing Association - recently held a nation-wide competition for painting Easter Eggs. Entrants for this ancient custom numbered 15,000 - much to the surprise of the organizers - and at the judging, held in Stockholm, Apr 11, 16-year-old schoolboy Bent Salander won first prize of GBP70.
The competition was for both beautiful and humorous paintings on eggs, and special prizes were awarded for cleverly done impressions of Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev and France's inimitable Brigitte Bardot.
After the competition the entries were transferred to Stockholm's Nordiska Museum - the first time a museum has exhibited painted eggs.
Sweden produces some 85,000 tons of eggs every year, and it is estimated that every second citizen eats an egg every day. At Easter-time however, all Swedes eat about five eggs per day!
Many legends are associated with Easter. One describes it as from the Saxon word Oster - "to rise." Another from Osters, the Teuton goddess who personified Spring. Missionaries changed this into the Christian ceremony of Easter we know today. The origin of giving eggs at Easter-time is unknown, although the custom has been traced back to several sources. Among many theories of the origin of painting eggs is that of the fourth century church which forbade eggs during Lent. Faced with a glut of eggs the population hard-boiled them - dyed them in bright colours - and gave them to children when Lent was over.