Created on: February 01, 2012 Last Updated: February 05, 2012
You would have to go back a long time to find the history of painting eggs. These oval shapes which represent birth made the perfect symbol of fertility, and are purported to date back to pre-Christian times.
Nowadays, a popular folk art practiced in many European countries, the Easter eggs show a variety of designs and colors and show that even on something as delicate as an egg, it is possible to create a style which is recognized as belonging to the traditions associated with certain countries. From many different countries within Europe, the Easter egg fashion has turned into a very real art-form, with different colors and styles representing the work put into the eggs. In fact,
this page gives a good overview of the colors employed in different nations.
The Germanic eggs take on a very traditional folk art look, but the style of those created in countries such as Hungary and Romania really do stand out as extraordinary, with their clever, intricate and stylized designed placed on a very colorful background, often with representations of the cross of Jesus, and associated with the Orthodox Catholic church.
Austria has joined in with the tradition, and their eggs take on a much more contemporary style, using styles such as ladybugs to tempt market buyers. The wealth of designs used in Austria are diverse and include musical notes, strawberries and other deliciously appetizing works of art, appealing generally to all ages.
If comparing other artwork placed on eggs, the Czech Republic feature painted eggs for Easter, though their designs are in traditional colors and are decorated by girls to give to boys during the Easter celebrations. There is also a national contest for eggs around the Easter period and the materials used for the intricate work include bees wax to isolate different areas while painting another color and these days even include transfers.
Looking across the Eastern block countries, many have adopted this tradition with Pysanka designs becoming popular throughout countries within the geographical limits of this area. The tradition dating from pre-Christian times has been traced back as a Pagan celebration. What is interesting is that the Pagans had much the same symbolism and used many of the inspirational designs used today, though allotted different meaning to those designs. As seen on this video, the size of the eggs used varies from smaller finch eggs through to huge Ostrich eggs.
The tool used for the delicate patterns is called a Kistki,
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