If you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to Easter egg decorating, there’s a world of beautiful options to explore. Try one of these colorful international Easter egg traditions instead of simply dyeing eggs this year.
Easter egg decoration is an expressive art form that goes beyond dyeing in pastel colors or dipping in chocolate. Write, scratch, or etch designs; glue beads or leaves; paint dots, geometric designs, or entire scenes. From wire woven eggs in the Czech Republic and painted murals of the countryside in Croatia, to gold- and gemstone-laden eggs in Russia, check out these local Easter egg traditions around the world. You may even be inspired to create something new this year!
Bold Designs & Bright Colors in the Czech Republic
Hand painted eggs using wax and dyes can be found in the Czech Republic (and neighboring Poland) before and during Easter celebrations. Eggs are exchanged as a symbol of love, friendship, and new beginnings. Known as kraslice (or pysanky in Poland), eggs are embellished with geometric and floral designs. You can also see eggs depicting designs reminiscent of church windows, human figures, or animal figures.
Wire Wrapping in Slovakia
The art of covering an egg with knotted wire developed as a Slovak tradition but can be seen in other countries as well. This technique requires considerable skill as you roll strong copper or bee-keeper’s wire around a fragile eggshell in scales, spirals, or chains. Wool, leather, and lace are also added to the eggs, which symbolize renewal and continuing of life.
Ceramic Hen Eggs, 4 for $11.15 on Etsy
A less fragile option for those who want to try this at home.
Red Eggs in Greece
In the Greek Orthodox tradition, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood and rebirth of Christ. Kokkina avga or Greek Easter eggs, are made by dying eggs using skins from yellow onions, though some people use commercial red dyes now. They are often baked into tsoureki, a sweet yeast bread.
Related Reading: Try These International Easter Breads
Washi Eggs in Japan
Think about origami for eggs! The Japanese use printed washi paper, glue, and varnish sealer to make ornaments and decorations for Christmas and Easter. Wrapping delicate eggshell with paper is a time-consuming and intricate process, but well worth its reward, which turns that most fragile of foodstuffs into a work of art.
Rifle Paper Co. Patterned Tapes, 3 for $13 at Anthropologie
You can find washi tape in all kinds of colors and patterns online.
Confetti Eggs in Mexico
Perhaps one of the easiest to make, a cascarón is a hollowed-out egg, decorated and filled with confetti or small toys. Cascarones are used during Easter and Carnival in the U.S. and Mexico, to shower one another with colorful confetti. It is said that the idea originated in Spain, when fathers would crack eggs over their kids as a way of showing disappointment. Here’s how to make your own.
20 Cascarones Confetti Eggs, $9.99 on Etsy
You can also buy them ready-made.
Giant Eggs in Croatia
Painters from the Croatian region of Podravina started a new tradition of erecting giant eggs (6 feet tall!) depicting scenes from country living and village panoramas and placing them in city squares. Over the years, they became so popular that the giant egg exhibits are now seen all over Croatia and even in some cities in Europe during Easter time.
Ukrainian Scratch Eggs
Not much equipment is needed to make dryapanky, or scratched Easter eggs from Ukraine. These are created by scratching the surface of a dyed egg in traditional folk motifs or geometric designs to reveal the white shell below.
Hand-Decorated Scratch Design Easter Eggs, $17 each on Etsy
If you love the look but can't quite pull it off yourself.
Russian Jeweled Eggs
In pre-Christian times in Russia, people saw eggs as symbols of fertility and often used them as protection amulets. Gem-encrusted eggs called Fabergé eggs were created by the jeweler Carl Fabergé in 1885 for the royal family for Easter. Decorated by hand, these were covered with gold, precious stones, and Swarovski crystals costing a few hundred to millions of dollars. Now you can only find replicas at museum shops—or you can make one yourself (with less expensive supplies, of course).
Related Video: Try Your Hand at Homemade Peeps for Another Fun Easter Craft
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