Monday, March 29, 2010

EGG-quisite Easter Eggs from Around the World

Easter's less than a week away and many families will be picking up an Easter egg coloring kit with some dye tablets and a wax crayon and some stickers and creating some good old fashioned commercial (and IMHO, pretty boring) Easter eggs this week. To that I say "Bah, humbunny!" What happened to all of the great old world customs that our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up with?

Well, luckily for you, I was able to find some of those egg-stra special old world eggs on Etsy... so grab a beverage and get ready for an egg-citing trip around the world viewing some truly egg-straordinary artwork!

First up is my grandparent's homeland of Lithuania. The Lithuanian term for decorated eggs is marguciai. While Easter egg artistry in Lithuania encompasses two different techniques, I'm personally very fond of the technique which scratches intricate and beautiful design into a (preferably naturally) dyed egg. This scratched Lithuanian Easter egg from teener1416 on Etsy features a lovely floral rose design against a red background and is a lovely example of this technique.

Al's ethnic roots include the Ukraine, where their decorated eggs are known as pysanky. This written wax batik technique involves layering on dyes over layers of beeswax designs to create beautiful, very often geometric designs. In traditional pysanky, only raw eggs are used - cooked Easter eggs that are decorated in this manner using only red dye are known as krashanky. Giving a pysanka to someone is symbolic of giving the gift of life. It's also believed that the more colors there were on a pysanka, the more magical powers it held. UkrainianTreasures offers some beautiful examples of egg artistry, so it was hard for me to pick a favorite, but since I had to, I chose this Harvest Sunshine - Real Traditional Ukrainian Goose Egg. If you read the description on the listing that explains the symbolism, you can probably understand why I like it!

Down Mexico way, having cascarones broken over your head is believed to bring good luck. Cascarones are festive, hollow chicken egg shells, filled with confetti. The colorful egg is crushed in the hand over the recipient's head showering him or her with confetti. While cascarones can be decorated in any number of ways with any type of dye or paint or other medium, I found these Speckled Cascarones at gracieseggies which I love because they look so natural and somewhat rustic, making them perfect for any festive occasion, not just Easter!

Creating washi eggs is a traditional springtime craft in Japan, where once again the egg is a symbol of birth and life. Made from a mixture of plant fibers rather than wood pulp, washi is sturdier than most papers and lends itself nicely to a variety of art forms. eggcellentdesigns offers a small, but lovely assortment of glittered washi eggs. One of my favorites from this store is the Butterflies Fly Free Egg. The butterfly motif and rich blues and purples make this an egg-ceptionally beautiful piece of decor.

I truly hope that a hundred years from now, these egg decorating traditions and crafts are still being practiced. To anyone who knows how to create in the style of the old world, please encourage your children and your children's children to learn the techniques so that their children will also be able to enjoy beauties like these!

I hope you had a wonderful Monday - I'd love to hear about your easter egg traditions and decorating techniques, so be sure to post them here!


Anonymous said...

They are so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!!

Baroness Bijoutery said...

Your world tour of Easter Eggs is just Fantastic...I remember having some of those great Eggs when we lived in Japan...I couldn't get over their Beauty and the skill of making them...Thank you for bringing back such pleasant memories...

VividColors said...

Those Easter Eggs are absolutely gorgeous! :)

storybeader said...

that was great! I love them all! Now, how do they get the confetti inside the Mexican eggs? Hmmm... And I used washi paper for my book covers, so I have a tender spot for the Japanese egg.

mamacooker said...

Hey neighbor, I'm following now. Please enter me in the giveaway. :)

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Wow...such beauty!!!
And how neat to have the story to go with each one :)

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