Why do we decorate eggs for Easter? There are various theories that make the rounds. One plausible one is bound in the Christian traditions of Lent, Passover and Easter. Lent, as many of us know, kicks off on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). That’s the day the devout get in their last big meals before religious fasting begins. The day after Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday, and that’s the day that begins the “Lenten fast”— when traditionally, meat, eggs and dairy became off-limits until Easter.
Hens do not stop laying eggs during Lent, so back in the day, when most people kept their own chickens and food was scarce, hard-boiling eggs was one way to preserve them until Lent ended on Easter Day. By the time Lent ended, families had stashed away quite a few hard-boiled eggs. So, eggs were decorated, handed out as gifts and eaten in plenty on Easter Day. It’s not at all surprising that many cultures have Easter dishes that make use of lots of eggs. The Spanish dish hornazo, Hungarian rakott krumpli and Italian pizza rustica all come to mind. Here are 17 savory breakfast pies, almost all with eggs, perfect for any Easter brunch.
In Germany and Austria eggs were not preserved at all, they were emptied, the shells hollowed out and the outside decorated. These eggs were hung upon trees for decoration in the days leading up to Easter. Other cultures also hollow-out eggs before decorating them. Many are quite beautiful and have been well-preserved through decades. Here are 20 incredible easter eggs from around the world.
Chelsea, over at Lovely Indeed, decorates her eggs using washi tape.