Colorful Easter eggs

The quintessential symbol of Orthodox Easter is red eggs. The egg is a symbol of life and the red color reminds of the blood of Christ's sacrifice. We traditionally dye eggs on Maundy Thursday. And we "cling" them after the Resurrection saying "Christ is Risen"! The first red egg is considered a talisman of the house, so we keep it.

Orthodox use natural colors instead of other colors:

-Red: beetroot poppy flowers
-Purple: violet red cauliflower
-Yellow: turmeric onion
-Green: spinach parsley
-Orange: paprika
-Blue: vinegar with red cauliflower

They also use commercial dyes that give the eggs a more intense color.

To dye eggs:

On the eve, take the eggs out of the fridge to come to room temperature so they don't break when boiled.
Place the eggs in the pan carefully and in a single layer.
Cover them with water.
Boil them for 10-12 minutes and remove them from the pot with a tablespoon.
Wipe the eggs with a soft towel.
Let them cool down.
In an old pot, put 1 1/2 liters of warm water and 4 tablespoons of white vinegar as a color fixer.
Dissolve the dye in a smaller container and add it to the warm water while stirring.
Place the eggs in the paint carefully and leave them for 3 minutes while shaking the pot in a circle so that the color goes everywhere evenly. Remove the eggs with a tablespoon.
When they are dry, wipe them with a cloth moistened with oil to make them shine.

For the floral decorations:

Place parsley leaves or other small leaves on the eggs. Wrap the egg with a piece of thin sock or tie tightly with a turban and place the "dressed" egg in the paint.
Removing the sock reveals a beautiful painting.
We can also paint the shell with nice designs.

In Ukraine, they first draw the design they want on the egg with a pencil. Then with a small cone they cover with melted wax the surface they want to remain unpainted. They dip after the egg first in light colored paint. When the egg dries, they cover with melted wax the surfaces they want to keep the first color. They dip the egg again in the second dye repeating the process: drying wax dye as many times as the colors they want to use going from the lightest colors to the darkest. They then heat the egg slightly in the oven or in the candle flame, the wax melts and the colors appear. The designs are usually geometric plant and even small animals. The most common are the sun, the cross, stars, triangles. The colors have a symbolic meaning: red symbolizes the sun, life, joy, yellow wealth and abundance, green a symbol of spring and flowers.
Each egg is unique.

Happy Easter!

From the under-published book of Monk Ioannis "Monastery Kitchen" translated by Zoe Pliakos.

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