Easter In Croatia

Croatian Giant Easter Eggs Have made a home throughout Europe

Croatian Giant Easter Eggs
Have made a home
throughout Europe

For me, Easter means the time of the greatest of joys, the time of new life and new hopes, the time of (nature) awakening, possibly new decisions, positive thinking and beautiful traditions that confirm where I come from and who I am. It is like that for most people in Croatia; an opportunity to gather the family and remember that love keeps us together. It is like that in every country celebrating Christianity and every country has its own special “little” things of culture and tradition that make is distinct.

Home dyed Easter Eggs

Home dyed Easter Eggs

One of the things that mark Croatian Easter tradition is definitely home made dyed eggs. In Croatia, they are called pisanice (literally translated into English: written upon). This Slavic egg decorating custom dates back to pagan times. Almost every home has their own home-dyed eggs and when visiting your friend’s or family house during Easter time, it’s tradition to bring some of your home made dyed eggs. Then they are exchanged and brought home as a souvenir from every visit.

 

tapping Easter eggs CroatiaOn Easter day, a traditional game is played in which at least two people choose eggs and hold them vertically while one person lightly taps the end of the other egg with their end, to see whose will crack. Anyone whose egg cracks must choose another and then tap the other person’s egg, and they continue until all the eggs have been used and cracked but the last one. Whoever holds the strongest egg in the end, which has not been cracked, wins.

 

 

Croatian Easter Eggs "PISANICE" Designs with hot wax drawing

Croatian Easter Eggs
“PISANICE”
Designs with hot wax drawing

Eggs are a symbol of spring awakening and new beginnings, new life. The most popular “old-fashioned” way to dye eggs is to boil a pot of water together with a lot of red onion skins, which will give the eggs orange/red colour. The next step is to take each egg and put a clover or parsley leaf on its surface. Here’s where it gets interesting: you secure the leaf not by gluing it to the egg, but by putting everything into nylon tights. You put everything into a pot of boiling water with onion skins and cook. The tights not only secure leaves, but also let the water colour the eggs. Or, if you want striations on eggs then wrap onion skins around the raw egg held by elastic band or kitchen twine before dropping the room-temperature raw egg into boiling water. When they’re done, let them cool, remove the tights and leaves and you’ll get a red egg with leaf print on it; or striations if you boiled them with onion skins tied to them. It’s quite decorative and the process is fun. Another traditional way of decorating Easter eggs is to use hot liquid wax and pencil-like instruments. You need to make sure that eggs are clean and dry. You take wax and melt it, dip your pen into the melted wax and draw different patterns on eggshells. Then you cook them in coloured water- the wax will melt and leave beautiful designs, while the rest of eggs will be coloured. In the end, polish it with some vegetable oil, the colour will be nice and shiny.

Giant Croatian Easter Egg at the Maison de l’Europe in rue des Francs Bourgeois (2014)

Giant Croatian Easter Egg
at the Maison de l’Europe
in rue des Francs Bourgeois
(2014)

 

And then, of course, there are those absolutely beautiful Croatian giant Easter eggs that adorn city squares in Croatia and museums throughout Europe – these works of art are always the product of groups of Croatian naïve artists and usually depict cultural, environmental and religious parts of local life.

One of the joyous Easter traditions (especially for children) is egg hunt on the Easter morning. Parents tell the children a rabbit tale: the story of the Easter rabbit who leaves eggs in the garden and chocolates for children. Every Easter morning, they search for eggs and chocolate presents, all excited.

Croatian Easter Cake/Bread

Croatian Easter Cake/Bread

 

Traditional Croatian Easter Breakfast Blessed at church before eating

Traditional Croatian
Easter Breakfast
Blessed at church before eating

As far as the food is concerned, traditionally ham and eggs are eaten, with radishes, spring onions and horseradish sauce. The day before Easter, Roman Christians go to a late night mass carrying a basket of traditional food (bread, ham, eggs). During the mass, priests bless the food, which are kept for the next morning to eat. An Easter Sunday would not be complete in Croatia without the special, exquisitely tasting Easter cake or Easter bread – a tasty reward after the season of Lent, penance and going without ones favourite or chosen treats as form of fasting.
Happy Easter Everyone! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Happy Easter! Loved your post. I am orthodox, and this year the Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on 1st of May. These day my heart is with all my Christians brothers and sisters, who celebrate Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow those giant eggs are stunningly beautiful. Happy Easter

    Like

    • They are Andy – absolutely stunning pieces of art. New ones come out every year as groups of naive artists across Croatia complete the joint project of one giant egg per artist “colony” – I am particularly happy knowing they don’t go into dark storage after Easter season but into museums and various displays throughout Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Easter and thanks for this beautiful post with its wonderful pictures! 🙂

    Like

  4. Your pisanice are lovely. We used to have dyed eggs for breakfast at Easter, my mother used cake colouring in the water, but they were plain. The process you describe does sound fun.

    Like

  5. Happy Easter
    Dear Ina

    Always

    john

    Like

  6. Vlado Lušić says:

    Happy Easter Ina. Since your post is by far the best I have seen so far, and certainly better than anything I could produce, allow me please to share it in Croatia any beyond. Happy Easter to family & friends and friends of family & friends wherever you may be on the globe.

    Like

  7. Wilkinson says:

    You do beat all with this post, Ina – I am mesmerised by these Giant PISANICE year in and year out. Croatia has given some of the world’s best naive artists! Happy Easter! Sretan Uskrs!

    Like

  8. Sretan Uskrs Ina! Great post!

    Like

  9. Happy Easter!

    Like

  10. And so Easter should be colorful, plentiful, joyful…love the way it is in Croatia! Happy Easter!

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  11. A writer from the East says:

    Tempted to visit Croatia now 😀
    A very very Happy Easter, Warmest Wishes my friend! 🙂

    Like

  12. Ina hvala za ove prelijepe slike i čestitku za Uskrs.
    Pozdrav iz Švicarske i naravno, sretan Uskrs i tebi.

    Like

    • Translation of Marjan’s comment: ina thank you for these lovely pictures and good wishes for Easter. Regards from Switzerland and, of course, happy Easter to you too.

      REPLY: Hvala Marjane i Vama sve najbolje s puno veselja. Thank you Marjan all the best with lots of happiness to you too.

      Like

  13. how nice to know the history of the egg tradition, when asked in the past, I never knew where and the why of the tradition.. I like it.

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  14. Happy Easter

    Like

  15. Blissful traditions ,Happy Easter.

    Like

  16. Happy Easter Ina.

    Like

  17. Happy holiday, Ina

    Like

  18. Thanks for this cultural post on Croatian Easter customs. 🙂 For us in the US, Easter customs include attending church, egg hunts and baskets for kids, candy, and going out for brunch or dinner.
    I think Easter was on the same date for Catholics and Orthodox Christians a year or so ago.
    To one and all: Joyeux Paques! Happy Easter!

    Like

  19. Happy Easter.

    Christ is Risen!

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  20. Beautiful post and nice to learn about traditions in Croatia, dear Ina… Happy Easter 🐰🐣 best wishes. Aquileana

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  21. The Giant Eggs are amazing Ina.Great Traditions.
    Have a Happy Down Under Easter
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

  22. Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych
    Happy Easter

    Like

  23. What a beautiful post. I enjoyed seeing the photographs of your traditions. Happy Easter!

    Like

  24. Paste Fericit Ina ! 🙂
    Hapyy Easter ! 🙂

    Aliosa.

    Like

  25. I’ve never seen giant eggs like that! Beautiful! Have an egg-celent Easter!

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  26. Happy Easter to all. Enjoy the celebration.

    Like

  27. Beautiful eggs! I particularly love the wax designs. And the bread, yum.

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  28. What a delightful Post Ina.. Such beautiful artistry in those egg paintings.. A wonderful tradition.. May we each hope for New Life and New Beginnings to Spring forward in Peace throughout our world..
    Sending love and Joy to you Ina.. many thanks for sharing these traditions with us..
    And I hope you enjoyed a very Happy Easter
    Love Sue ❤

    Like

  29. Prelepo stvarno, slicno je kao i kod nas u Srbiji. 🙂
    Volim Usks jako, moja porodica i ja slavimo oba Uskrsa!
    Pozdrav ❤

    Like

    • Translation of comment by Dajana:Truly beautiful and similar to what we have in Serbia. I love Easter a lot, my family and I celebrate both. Regards

      REPLY: Many similarities, indeed, Dajana 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Beautiful post with meaningful thoughts, Ina. God bless you and your family. ❤

    Like

  31. They are stunning. Love the natural ways of dyeing and enjoyed the history – as always.

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  32. Stunning post. Thanks for your continued support.

    Like

  33. Wow, so many beautiful easter eggs. Love the giant croatian easter eggs and yes easter eggs symbolizes awakenings and new beginnings, so true. Thanks for sharing all these infos.

    Like

  34. Reblogged this on Arlin Report and commented:
    Great article!

    Like

  35. Welcome on board ………… Thank you for following my blog, Ina. Thank you also for your warm support. Jo

    Like

  36. For Easter, I gave my nieces a kit for dying eggs and reading your post reminded me of it! Lovely to learn more about the Croatian Easter traditions 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful day!

    Like

  37. Happy Easter Ina just added this fabulous post to friends news such wonderful customs you have in your country makes us in the UK who rely on shops selling the customary chocolate egg look so lame – I travelled abroad and saw a number of countries but learn more from bloggers like you about futons than ever before … Thanks Ian short link to your post here God Bless .. http://wp.me/p4NphM-2iX

    Like

  38. Thank you Ian and God bless – hope your Easter Sunday was good and happy. Cheers forward too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  39. It was a good and rewarding day hope your day goes as well .. 🌹

    Like

  40. It did thanks Ian – cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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