Published June 11, 2007 by
When Americans think about Easter, they think of decorated eggs and Easter baskets full of candy. The importance of the Easter egg is evidenced by the fact that the White House hosts an Easter egg roll for children on the lawn every year (on the Monday after Easter). Started by First Lady Dolly Madison in the early 1800s, the White House Easter Egg Roll is overseen by the First Lady. The traditional decorating of Easter eggs in the US has now evolved from the simple dipping of the eggs in colored vinegar dyes to stickers and complex coloring kits. The symbolic Easter egg we think of in the U.S. takes on different forms and décor across the world. Here are just a few of the decorating styles and Easter egg gift-giving traditions of other countries.
Russia – Likely the most famous eggs in the world, Faberge eggs were originally created for the Russian Imperial Court. These exquisite eggs are gold and precious stone jewelry that are designed in the shape of an egg. Named after the company that created them, the Faberge eggs can be worth big money. In fact, an American business man paid a reported $5.5 million dollars for the Faberge Winter Egg in 1994.
Poland – The fragile Polish egg called the pisanka is created by dipping an eggshell in wax and then meticulously carving it to form a delicate pattern. After carving is complete, the egg is dyed. These gorgeous pisanka eggs are then exchanged on Easter Saturday as gifts between family members.
Ukraine – Like the Polish pisanka, Ukrainian Easter eggs are also dipped in wax and carved to form what they call a pysanky. Traditionally, these eggs have geometric designs such as diamonds or squares and are custom-colored especially for the intended gift recipient. The Ukrainian culture looks upon the receipt of a pysanky as a great honor and recipients often display their egg as a showpiece in their home.
Greece – The symbol of the redeeming blood of Jesus, red dye is used to color Greek Easter eggs completely red. Just take red dye and add it to a water and vinegar solution where the eggs will be boiled to obtain their red color.
British Isles – Looking at British Easter traditions will give you a clue as to where the White House Easter Egg Roll comes from. Like the U.S., the British decorate their eggs in many styles and colors. They then hold Easter egg roll contests to see who can roll their egg down a hill the quickest, without breaking the egg of course.
Visit Holiday Gifts & Gift Baskets for many great Easter gift ideas!