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History of Easter eggs

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The red eggs

Belarusian_Easter_Eggs(Easter eggs from Belarus, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belarusian_Easter_Eggs.jpg)

The custom of the Easter egg was found among Coptic Christians from the late fifth century, it is perhaps in memory of ardent eggs (ova ignita) with which the martyrs were tortured or red egg laid by an imperial hen the day of the birth of Alexander Severus in 208 BC. The tradition of offering eggs in spring dates back to antiquity: the Persians, the Egyptians offered, as a lucky, decorated hen eggs as renewal sign.

Traditionally for the Orthodox, decorating Easter eggs begins on Holy Thursday. The first painted egg – bright red – must have been laid on Holy Thursday, and is kept as lucky. The following are also painted red and decorated with vivid patterns. It is traditional to share with loved ones on Easter day, while welcoming the invocation “Christ is risen!”.

Painted eggs, pissanka and precious eggs

Pysanky 2011(Eggs decorated using the technique of Pissanka, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pysanky2011.JPG)

A popular technique of decorating Easter eggs, called “pissanka” (in Ukrainian: писанка) combines the use of dye and wax.

The general layout of the design is first made in pencil, then using an instrument called “kistka“, hot wax is applied to the locations that we will not stain. Then quenching the egg in the first bath dyeing, a clear hue. Once dried egg, hot wax is covered in some locations that we want to keep this color. It is immersed in a second dyeing, and the process is repeated (drying, wax, color) as many times as there are colors, always ranging from the lightest to the darkest colors. Then the egg is heated slightly (either in an oven or a candle flame) to melt the wax. The colors appear then.

Peter the great egg(Faberge Easter eggs)

Since the Renaissance, the use of offering precious eggs appeared in the royal courts; Edward I of England asked to decorate several hundred eggs with gold leaf to distribute to his family.

It was said that Louis XIV was to bless baskets of large golden egg he handed to his courtiers and domestic. The tradition was that the King would have the biggest egg of the kingdom. At the time of Louis XV, the daughter of the latter received a gift of eggs painted by Watteau and Lancret.

At the end of the nineteenth century, at the imperial court of Russia, Nicolas II offered for Easter to his wife and mother Faberge eggs, valuable gold goldsmith pieces and stones considered masterpieces of art of the jeweler.

Chocolate eggs

Oeuf de Pâques en chocolat(Chocolate Easter egg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chocolate_easter_egg.jpg)

Until the nineteenth century, the eggs were natural and decorated by the children in the countryside, they were dyed red with cooked onion sliced, a plum root decoction or Logwood; purple with wood from Brazil, beet or viola; pale pink with radish or green peel with nettle leaves or ivy; brown with chicory. The richly colored eggs were obtained by cooking them in cheesecloth containing herbs and flowers.

From the eighteenth century, the fresh eggs are emptied to fill the liquid chocolate. In 1847 the Fry brothers invent a mixture “sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa powder,” which provides a soft dough that can be poured into molds. The chocolate that was previously used as a drink that can now be chewed, and shaped in various forms by confectioners.

The egg is associated with hen, which is now in the form of chocolate statuette. Sweets are now no longer limited strictly to the shape of the egg but can be real chocolate and sugar sculptures and sometimes represent characters or objects that have no connection with the original model, as rabbits.

Translated from Wikipedia

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