Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dazzling Slavic Easter Eggs

Slavic Easter eggs have always been fascinating.

They exhibit a dazzling array of colors, textures, symbols, and high artistry. The egg dying and decorating methods differ from region to region underscoring the variety of traditions and materials available. Common materials include beeswax and plant dyes favored by the batik, or "wax resist", method.

Originating in pre-Christian times, eggs have always been a sign of new life and fertility. Pagan Slavic people painted eggs with protective symbols as amulets to ward against evil spirits and calamities. Various shapes and colors have particular meanings.

Since the advent of Christianity in these regions, the symbolism has been adapted to fit the ancient practice. The most common Easter egg color is red, which symbolizes Christ's blood and resurrection. Like icons, the eggs are written with great attention to detail and prayerful attitude.

Check out this fascinating Reuters video on "members of Germany's Slavic minority, the Sorbs, prepare for Easter by decorating eggs using traditional methods that have been practised for generations."

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