Excavations witness that traditions of paintings on eggs have been existing for 5000 years and have their regional peculiarities. Especially in Slavonic countries eggs are decorated with many colored pictures of Christian motives. As expensive souvenirs it was a habit to give eggs made of noble metals, marble, was and wood.
The Easter hare, which, children believe, brings the Easter eggs, may be understood as a transformed Easter lamb. In those places, where there was no sheepbreeding, a hare substituted for a sheep in the Raster meal. Due to its ability not to sleep the hare become a symbol of resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Wherever Easter is celebrated, there Easter eggs are usually to be found. In their modern form, they are frequently artificial, mere imitations of the real thing, made of chocolate or marzipan or sugar, or of two pieces of coloured and decorated cardboard fitted together to make an eggs-shaped case containing some small gift. These are the Easter eggs of commerce, which now appear in shop-windows almost as soon as, and sometimes even before, Ash Wednesday is past, and by so doing lose much of their original festival significance.
This is a real egg, hard-boiled, died in bright colours, and sometimes elaborately decorated. In still appears upon countless breakfast-tables on Eater Day, or is hidden about the house and garden for the children to find. In some European countries, including England, the Easter Hare is said to bring the Easter eggs, and to conceal them in odd corners of the gardens, stables, or outbuildings.
Because eggs are obvious symbols of continuing life and resurrection, the pagan peoples of ancient China, Egypt, Greece, and Persia used them, centuries before tile first Easter Day, at the great Spring Festivals, when the revival of all things in Nature was celebrated.
Colouring and decorating the festival eggs seems to have been customary since time immemorial. And old Polish legend says that Our Lady herself painted eggs red, blue, and green to amuse the Infant Jesus, and that since then all good polish mothers have done the same at Easter. A Romanian tale says that the vivid red shade, which is a favorite almost everywhere, represents the blood of Christ.
There are many ways of tinting and decorated the eggs, some simple and some requiring a high degree of skill. They can be dipped into a prepared dye or, more usually boiled in it, or they may be boiled inside a covering of onion-peel. Ordinary commercial dyes are often used today for coloring, but originally only natural ones, obtained from flowers, leaves, mosses, bark, wood-chips, or other sources, were employed. In England, gorse-blossom was commonly used for yellow, cochineal for scarlet, and logwood-chips for a rich purple.
In Switzerland, minute flowers and leaves are sometimes laid on the egg underneath the onion-peel to make a white flower-pattern on the yellow or brown surface.
The decoration of Easter eggs is a traditional peasant art in Eastern and Central Europe. Favorite designs vary in different regions. In Hungary, red flower-patterns on a white ground are often seen; sometimes the decorated eggs are fitted with tiny metal shoes, with minute spurs attached, and curious little metal hangers. In Yugoslavia, the letters XV usually form part of the design. They stand for Christos Vaskrese, meaning ‘Christ is risen’, which is the traditional Easter greeting of Easter Europe. Russian eggs are sometimes elaborately decorated with miniature picture of the saints, or of Our Lord. Polish designs are often geometrical, or abstract, or they may include Christian symbols, like the Gross or Fish, mixed with pagan emblems of new life. Painted eggs of this type, know as pisanki, always appear on the Easter Table.
In some East European countries, scarlet eggs, as symbols of resurrection, are placed on, or buried in, the graves of the family dead. The latter custom was known in northern England until about the middle of last century. One or two of the most beautifully ornamented Pace-eggs – the name by which Easter eggs are still most commonly called in the northern counties – would be saved and kept in tall ale – glasses in a corner cupboard, or some other place where they could be easily seen. In Scotland, Easter eggs are often called Peace or Paiss eggs. ‘Pace’ and ‘Paiss’ are all corruptions of Pasch, or Paschal, of which the original root is the Hebrew word pisach meaning Passover.
Реферат опубликован: 14/03/2008