Easter Egg Decoration

Dying and decorating Easter eggs have a long history in the Hungarian folk tradition. Techniques and motifs show the same regional variety as Hungarian embroideries do.

The most popular methods of decorating eggs are writing in wax and etching. The home-made wax pen (gica, kesica) is dipped in hot wax and then used to „write” the patterns on the surface of the egg. When the egg is then dipped in ink, the pattern under the wax resists staining, thus creating the ornamentaion. Ink was made from plant materials, such as red onion skins.

In Hungarian folklore, every pattern had its meaning and significance. Among the Csangos, egg decorating began on Good Friday with the „lost traveler” pattern, which symbolizes the fact that no one can live a sin-free life. Godmothers would give goddaughter eggs decorated with flowers, or with tools so that they might have a great harvest. On Easter Monday, lads would sprinkle girls with fresh water, who would then repay them with decorated eggs. Receiving an egg bearing a rooster’s comb was equal to a confession of love. Religious symbols had their place on the eggs, too, such as the crucifix.

Organized by the MAG Community.