The city of Zagreb is fully prepared to celebrate the greatest holiday of Christians, Easter. For days, the city is full of people who are looking for perfect holiday baskets that will delight their families. The day before Easter, which is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon, which usually falls on April 21st, the citizens of Zagreb came to the streets and marketplaces to find and buy traditional foods. Given the fact that Croats very much respect tradition, on food for Easter, they are spending from 600 kuna to 1.600 kuna. The holiday table is almost unthinkable without the ham, which costs an average of 25 kuna per kilo, and Easter eggs that in ancient cultures represent a source of life.
On Easter morning people traditionally go to church with their family for morning mass where the priest dedicate their baskets full of eggs. After praying and gathering with friends, families usually go to their homes, where they enjoy the typical breakfast which usually consists eggs, ham, onion, French salad and radish. In Croatia, Traditional dishes across the country on Easter are bread, cheese, a variety of Easter cake decorated with eggs, biscuits, cooked ham, ham baked in bread, boiled chicken with homemade noodles, cake, flan and others. Easter is a special joy to children because it involves various traditional games like „egg fight“ or in Croatian ‘tucanje s jajima’.
Traditional games are also shooting eggs coins, searching hidden Easter eggs around the house or in the grass outside the home and so on. In the game „egg fight“, you take the egg and pick the opponent. Both sides keep eggs in hand and tuck them. The winner is one whose egg remains intact and whole, or popular „the one that has the strongest egg“. Dyeing and decorating eggs is a very old tradition. People threw the history used the colors that are found in nature, like the onion skin, beetroot, radicchio, elderberry, mulberry, soot, bark oak, nettle root, spinach and leeks. After that, the eggs gained beautiful red, brown, black and green colors. Painting Easter eggs is in some areas turned into folk art. In Slavonia, to be more precise, near Dakovo, people decorate Easter eggs with silk and thread.
The designs on the eggs are mostly flowers, ear of wheat, butterflies, rabbits, quotes from the Bible, braiding, Croatian coat of arms, the lyrics of patriotic songs and so on. Once Easter was considered the perfect moment of baptism, therefore, at that morning mass new members join the church, and the old members renew vows. They sing the cheerful and festive songs and celebrates a resurrection. The day after Easter Monday all over the world is an official holiday and both young and old enjoy it very much for it is another day of rest before work commitments.
So here are some technics of painting the eggs that we use in Croatia.
- Marble Eggs
2. Eggs painted with the shell of the onion.
3. Colored eggs with a shiny effect and buttons.
4. Traitional eggs decorated with ink.